Following the introduction of the new Premier League rules, the pressure is on clubs to give their young stars more playing time this season. Here at Caughtoffside, we will be taking a look at some of the stars to watch out for, starting with Phil Jones of Blackburn Rovers.
Name: Phil Jones
Club: Blackburn Rovers
Position: Central defender
Phil Jones made an immediate impact when introduced into the Blackburn Rovers first team last season, looking the part alongside club captain Ryan Nelsen in central defence. His no-nonsense playing style and composure would not usually be associated with someone so young, but he proved that he has all of the talent needed to become a huge asset for his club, and has reportedly been the subject of enquiries from some of the Premier League’s top sides.
Jones made his debut for Blackburn in a League Cup game against Nottingham Forest in September 2009, aged just 17. Blackburn won the game 1-0 and Jones was singled out as the game’s star performer by his manager Sam Allardyce. He made his first Premier League start for Blackburn against Chelsea on 21 March 2010 at Ewood Park where he showed no fear when against some of the league’s top strikers, eventually helping his side to a 1-1 draw. After the game, he even received praise from the hard-to-please Match Of The Day pundit Alan Hansen.
Jones went on to play a total of nine league games last season and never failed to impress. He was awarded with a new four-year contract in May this year, putting an end to any speculation of a move and committing his immediate future to Blackburn Rovers.
Jones is sure to feature strongly again this season, as he has clearly gained Sam Allardyce’s trust, having looked the part in every game he played last season. He has appeared for England Under-19’s on a number of occasions, and will soon be asked to make the step up to the Under-21’s.
If Jones continues to impress for his club, then there is no telling how far he can go, and surely a future in the national side beckons.