United’s Phil Jones meteoric rise to the top of English football looks set to continue with reports that England boss Fabio Capello could be set to hand the 19 year-old his first full international cap.
The Mail notes:
Fabio Capello is considering a shock England debut for Phil Jones against Montenegro on Friday night.
The England manager did not even name the 19-year-old on his bench for last month’s European Championship double header against Bulgaria and Wales.
But Capello is struggling to ignore a centre-half keeping Rio Ferdinand out of the Manchester United team and now has to decide whether to select him ahead of Gary Cahill.
Capello is the first to acknowledge that Cahill performed extremely well for England as John Terry’s partner in those recent wins in Sofia and at Wembley.
But Cahill is part of a Bolton team currently struggling at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League and Capello has been studying his form in those matches, in particular in Chelsea’s 5-1 win at The Reebok Stadium last weekend.
Only last week Capello described Jones as ‘an incredible talent’ and he will now spend the next 24 hours considering the merits of the two players.
While I’d love to see Jones handed his first England cap and know without a doubt he’s a far better player than the somewhat overrated Cahill, I do have my reservations about thrusting him into the national spotlight in such a crucial game.
Jones has been superb this season, but it’s obvious he still has a few things to learn about playing at centre back, there’s been the occasional lapse which is perfectly understandable. Jones is still on a learning curve and playing for England may expose him to some unneccesary criticism from the national media, should he make a mistake.
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