Phil Jones named best young centre-back in Europe

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United’s Phil Jones is the best centre-back under the age of 23 in Europe according to research carried out by CIES Football Observatory.

Jones tops the list ahead of players such as Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos.

The rankings are dictated by a number of factors including shooting, chance creation, take-ons, distribution, recovery and vigour.

Meanwhile, former Man United centre-back Michael Keane, now at Burnley, is eighth on the list.

It will still come as a surprise to many United fans as Jones hasn’t really hit his very best form in recent months and the fact that he is ahead of the likes of Varane. That being said, the stats don’t lie so this must be the truth – Jones is Europe’s premier young centre-back, what a player.

Sir Alex Ferguson once stated that the Englishman could turn out to be one of United’s greatest ever players but niggling injuries have often curtailed his progress. However, it is easy to forget that Jones is so young and he still potentially has a big future ahead of him with plenty of learning to do.

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