Phil Jones will be better than John Terry, says pal Salgado
Published 15:31 07/05/10 By MirrorFootball
Blackburn's teenage centre-back Phil Jones will be "the next John Terry" - but even better than the England star, according to the club's vastly-experienced Spanish defender Michel Salgado.
Jones, 18, has burst onto the scene with a series of accomplished matches against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Salgado, who spent 10 years as a Real Madrid regular before moving to Blackburn in the summer, describes the young Englishman as a rare talent.
And though he is not the first to see some of Terry's style in Jones, he believes he is going to be even better that the Chelsea skipper.
Salgado said: "I think he's going to be the next Terry for sure, but he's more comfortable than him on the ball as well.
"It's rare to see a young player like him, it's a complicated position and an important position for the side, he's playing like a proven player already and he's only played 10 games. He's proved he's ready to play with us.
"But I'm not surprised about how well he has done, he's a great player, a great centre-back.
"He needs to learn to compete but I think he's in a great situation, and next season he's going to feel more confidence and be a real Blackburn senior player and next season we will be counting on him as an important player."
Jones and 20-year-old team-mate Steven Nzonzi have both caught the eye of other clubs but both are on long contracts - Jones signed a new five-year deal only this week.
Rovers manager Sam Allardyce is reassured by the fact that he is under no pressure to sell any of his players this summer.
Allardyce said: "The younger players emerging has been the really big bonus.
"They are all on long contracts, and the reality is that we don't have to sell a single player like we did last year when we had to sell two.
"That's the heartening side of our situation."
Allardyce's problem for the summer is finding a proven striker at a bargain basement price, and he accepts Blackburn cannot outbid just about any other Premier League side.
Rovers have approached Lens about Aruna Dindane, the Ivory Coast striker on loan at Portsmouth, but Bolton are now pursuing an interest in the player.
Allardyce added: "It's all about the finance, the player's there, it's whether we can finance it or not.
"Targets will come and go, it's always the situation that if other Premier League clubs start coming in it's going to be very difficult for us to be the winner.
"While our wage bill is considerable compared to other teams, probably just below mid-range in the Premier League, our spending power is bottom of the league.
"Only Arsenal have spent less on transfers than Blackburn, and they have an outstanding business model to make money in the transfer market while many others are losing millions and millions every year."
Allardyce may give young Algerian midfielder Amine Linganzi his debut at Aston Villa on Sunday.
The 20-year-old, who moved from French club St Etienne in January, is viewed as an exciting prospect and may come in for Nzonzi, who has had an operation to remove some teeth.
El Hadji Diouf will also miss out after having his tonsils out.
"There'll certainly be one player that will play that has had limited experience, if no experience at all," said Allardyce.
"I think it is a necessary need to test at least one of our players that looks like they might be good enough.
"I don't think that will weaken the side too much. The rest of the team will be the strongest we've got available."