Gareth Southgate has hailed Phil Jones as the best defender in the Three Lions squad, ahead of their crucial match against Slovakia.
The Manchester United centre back won his 22nd cap for England, playing an important part in the 4-0 win over Malta.
England are two points clear at the top of the table and face a Slovakia side that has not lost a match and scored 13 goals so far, and Southgate is backing Jones to deliver.
“Not just this season, in terms of when I’ve been looking at him, but there was a long period last season where I think he’s been the best defender,” said Southgate.
“He’s got very good composure on the ball, he’s got the pace and the reading of the game, he’s aggressive in his defending – which I like – and I think he’s got fantastic experience although he’s still only relatively young.
“He organises well, he competes well, so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to involve him this time and it was clear the other night [against Malta] what he brings to the team.”