England defender Phil Jones has signed a four year contract at Manchester United, keeping him at the club till 2019, the club has confirmed.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 29, 2015
The 23-year-old was about to enter the last year of his previous deal. Louis van Gaal had stressed the importance of keeping hold of young talented players at the club, and like his fellow centre-back Chris Smalling, the former Blackburn defender has been rewarded for his progress.
Louis van Gaal, said: “We are delighted that Phil has signed a new contract. He is a talented footballer with great versatility and can play in a number of positions. Phil is a relatively young defender who is developing all the time. He missed some of last season due to injury but I was impressed by his professionalism and attitude during those periods.”
Jones predominantly plays as a centre-back, but he can also play in multiple positions. Being versatile, he is often asked to do different roles, which might have hindered his development as a central defender.
Furthermore, his development at the club has been marred by injuries, but last season he has benefitted from a settled role at centre-back under Van Gaal.
United are desperate to sign a top quality defender in the summer, with the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Ramos being linked with the club already.
Jones is a good defender and he has the time on his side to develop into a top class player, but in order to do so, he needs to avoid getting injured too often. His maturity at the back has been questioned at times, but he should develop on that, while playing beside any top class defender.