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The veteran Manchester United manager has lauded praise upon his 20-year-old centre-back, comparing the England international favourably with the Chelsea captain

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has lavished praise upon Phil Jones, saying that he "has more in his locker" than Chelsea captain John Terry.

The young defender has had a season hampered by a back injury, but after returning as a substitute against Liverpool earlier this month, he has started the Red Devils' last three games.

The fledgling centre-back, who turns 21 next month, has made five appearances for the national team after impressing following his £16.5 million move to Manchester from Blackburn in the summer of 2011.

Sir Alex is clearly convinced of his talent as he was keen to praise his player, claiming he has more talent than John Terry did at his age, though he acknowledged the England and Chelsea captain's wealth of experience as well.

"Jones has got more in his locker than John [Terry]. Terry has got the ­experience and has become a fantastic central figure at Chelsea," he told reporters.

"But as a young player, John [Terry] would be the first to admit he didn't have the pace of Phil Jones."

The veteran manager did not stop there, however, as he was eager to emphasise his versatility, amongst other virtues, following his role in midfield against Tottenham.

"Phil is a ­versatile boy, he can play anywhere," he continued.

"He's quick, two-footed, reads games well and is competitive. He’s doing very well."

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