Fabio Capello praises Manchester United's Phil Jones

Manchester United's Phil Jones
Jones captained England at the European Under-21 Championships this summer

England manager Fabio Capello has described Manchester United centre-half Phil Jones as an "incredible talent".

Capello believes the 19-year-old can emulate Jack Wilshere and become a senior international at a young age.

Capello will name his squad for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales on Sunday night.

But the Italian hinted he may instead consider Jones for the match against Montenegro on 7 October.

The £17m summer signing from Blackburn Rovers has already been included in the Under-21 squad for September matches against Azerbaijan and Israel.

"It is not easy to find a player who is so young that can play with so much confidence," said Capello.

"We need to wait some games. For the friendly games that we play, if he is fit, if he is OK. I don't know if he will be OK for Montenegro or the next games.

"But the talent is incredible - and when you find the talent, you need to use it."

Capello believes Jones can follow the same path as the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

"Jones is a talent like Wilshere," said Capello.

"We need to wait because so far he has played one Premier League game and some minutes at Wembley. But potentially he is a fantastic player. He needs to play more games with Manchester United.

"I remember when Wilshere started to play with Arsenal. First he did well, then better, better, better and after four months he was at the top. I understood he was ready to play with the national team. Jones is the same."

Capello has yet to decide how many of United's youngsters he will select this weekend.

But he has been impressed by Chris Smalling, whose transition to full-back has surprised Capello at a time when first choice Glen Johnson is also missing.

"He has improved a lot", Capello said of Smalling. "He is also playing with confidence. When he goes forward he doesn't play with fear.

"I remember him as a centre-back. Now he is right-back. He is a really interesting player in this position."

Capello also reacted to Theo Walcott's recently-published autobiography, which was critical of his coaching methods.

"I was speaking with Arsene (Wenger) in Italy this week. Theo came to me. I said I prefer you as a player than a writer.

"When I speak with the players at the start of the season, I always say this: 'My rule is that I am the manager, you are the player. You need to respect all the staff that are working with me'."

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