Phil Jones’ versatility not a problem says Johnsen

Phil Jones might have received words of encouragement to settle into a natural position, but the versatility he shows does not bother former Manchester United central defender Ronny Johnsen.

Johnsen has told the MUFC website that it is a good thing that the England youngster has the capability to play as a central defender, a full back or even in centre midfield. Johnsen also used his own experience when comparing him to the former Blackburn Rovers player.

The Norwegian said: “The gaffer used to like me playing in midfield, especially when ‘Keano’ (Roy Keane) was out with injury. But I played in defence, at the back a lot and enjoyed it. It’s actually more common now (performing both roles).

“Phil doesn’t need to be worried. I think he benefits from it in the end. He’s so young he can benefit from being versatile and he can learn from playing a little bit everywhere.”

Once touted as an England skipper of the future, injuries have got in the way of Jones making a regular impact since his move to Manchester United two summers ago.

He came on as a substitute for England in their stale 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday, and might play from the start in Maracana against Brazil on Sunday.

Johnsen will feature in a Legends clash against Real Madrid at the weekend. Other Red Devils greats to be involved will include Bryan Robson, Dwight Yorke and Denis Irwin.

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