Kean: I discovered Jones
Saturday 31 December 2011
It says much for Phil Jones' impact at Manchester United that, just five months after leaving today's opposition Blackburn Rovers, the 19-year-old's £16.5m transfer fee already looks like a bargain.
Rovers' manager, Steve Kean, though, has defended the club's transfer strategy. Kean claims he recommended Jones to then manager Sam Allardyce after spotting the youngster in an academy match.
Jones made his Premier League debut only last March, marking Didier Drogba in Blackburn's 1-1 draw with Chelsea, but just a few months into his stint at Old Trafford, he looks likely to be part of the United squad for the next decade and has forced his way into the England squad.
"I first saw him playing in an academy game. I mentioned to Sam that I thought he was a John Terry type," Kean said. "We got him up and he started to train with the first team and the rest is history.
"He has an old head on young shoulders, he has electric pace and he takes on information really well. Whatever information he's getting at United, like when he was here, you tell him to do something and he does it. He wasn't shy when giving a bit of stick out or demanding a bit more from his team-mates, so it's no surprise to me that he's done so well."
Kean had hoped the lure of regular football might be enough to allow Blackburn to cling on to Jones for a few more months after agreeing a release clause in the five-year deal the player signed in February and he believes that Jones would have been even cheaper without that new deal.
"He was on a small salary, for us to get him on a new five-year contract, the fee was put in there," Kean said. "He was just going to see it out."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners given boost in hunt for Marco Reus, why Wenger signed Gabriel Paulista, no move for Cheick Tiote
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Fantasy Premier League: Invest in Arsenal to climb the ranks in Gameweek 23
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account