As the new season draws near and Manchester United’s pursuits of Vidal and Strootman continue to seem less than productive, Louis Van Gaal must now pounder on what position to deploy England man Phil Jones.
The young lad came into Manchester United as one of the most promising defenders in world football but three years on, Phil Jones is still more potential than quality player forcing many to ask the simple question: will he ever blossom? Injuries and a lack of aerial presence have limited his appearances and performances in center back and when he has played out at right back, he has been beaten for pace all too often. In defensive midfield however, Jones has been fantastic for England and Manchester United, his timing of the challenge is excellent, he can bully midfielders off the ball and he is a more than decent passer of the ball. He also reads the game very brilliantly enabling him to break up attacks and go forward whenever possible. Jones’ best performances have come in this position.
Manchester United need a hard tackling ball playing midfielder, a hard man to support Carrick and Fletcher and Herrera and Jones may be the man but the problem is Manchester United also need three center backs to play Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation and with the exits of Vidic and Ferdinand, the club is short staffed in that department.
It remains to be seen whether Van Gaal will turn Jones into a holding midfielder or a center back and whether the former Blackburn man will blossom under the former Bayern trainer.
One thing is certain though, it doesn’t matter where Jones is deployed next season, Manchester United need to buy players!