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Fergie: Jones can play right away

Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to throw Manchester United new boy Phil Jones straight in at the deep end following his £16.5 million move from Blackburn Rovers.

• Scholes hails 'brilliant' Sneijder
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Jones, 19, had been expected to take a back seat in his first season at Old Trafford, only coming into the team when Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are unavailable or rested.

But instead Ferguson hopes Jones will play a pivotal role, in much the same way as his England Under-21 team-mate Chris Smalling did last season, having arrived from Fulham.

"We first identified Jones when he played for Blackburn's youth team against us a couple of years ago when they beat us 3-0," Ferguson told Inside United.

"He was absolutely magnificent. You might think he might not play, but the ability he's got and the determination he's got, he could quite easily play. He's the future obviously, but he could certainly come in right away."

Meanwhile, £15 million new boy Ashley Young has been told he will be mainly used as a left winger next season, hinting that Ryan Giggs will be used in central midfield if United are unable to complete a deal for Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder.

"Ashley can play in more than one position," Ferguson said. "He can play wide right, left, even behind the striker, so we have options there. But, initially, we'll start him as a wide left player."


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