Kean: Jones will go on to captain England

Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean believes Manchester United’s versatile defender Phil Jones will go on to captain England, after the Scot named the 20-year-old one of the best players he has worked with.

Kean spent seven months in charge of Jones, whose performances convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him last summer for a reported £16.5 million.

"I think Phil will go on to captain England and he has shown that he is not a player that can only play in one position," Kean told Yahoo!

"He can play full-back, centre-back, midfield and when he was here as a young player he actually played up front such was his level of ability.

"When he was here he wanted to be a central defender but I think such is his pace and his energy he can play full-back, he can play midfield and bomb into the box. He is that good that he can play anywhere.

"It's a little bit different when you go to Manchester United. If the pathway is blocked a little bit I’m sure you're just happy to play anywhere if it means you get a game."

Jones has impressed during his debut season at Old Trafford, with the majority of his best games coming from the holding midfield role, from where he has scored his only goal this season so far against Aston Villa.

Since Jones' departure from Ewood Park, Rovers have continued to bring young talent through their academy, including promising midfielder Jason Lowe, and Kean believes that shows strength in the football club.

"I think the fans can associate with young local boys who are coming through and Jason Lowe has done great. He has managed to get in our first team and hold down a place, he's got into the England Under-21s and he's even got a chance of going and representing Great Britain in the Olympics so he’s done fantastic this season.

"I think when you can get some of the young boys from the academy into the team it really shows that the strand of development is really strong in the club. That's going to be a big part of us moving forwards."

For more insight from Steve Kean and other leading managers, plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights, visit www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

By Dean Mears

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