Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Name: Phil Jones
Projected Transfer Fee: £15-18 million
Style of Play:
The Blackburn starlet had a stellar season at Ewood Park and has emerged as one of the best young English talents of this generation. Jones' exceptional form has earned him a call-up to the England U-21 side for the European Championships this summer.
Although the Englishman looks destined to be a centerback, he is equally adept playing as a defensive midfielder. Jones plays with great tenacity and determination. The Englishman is strong in the challenge, using his physicality to win possession and break up opposition play. Blackburn's youngster boasts a relentless work rate, which has been key towards his development as a tough-tackling, no-nonsense defender.
Standing at 6'2'', the Englishman is a formidable presence at the back. Jones has excellent aerial ability as well, making him a set-piece threat. In addition to his strong physical attributes, the Blackburn starlet has good technique and composure on the ball.
With his experience playing as a holding midfielder, Jones has a good range of passing and decent vision. The Englishman has the potential to be an elite defender in England's top-flight for years to come. Jones has the physicality of a powerful centerback but has Rio Ferdinand-esque passing and technique. With his toughness and ability on the ball, the Englishman could develop into a dynamic force in the center of defense.
Although Wenger has publicly stated his intentions to sign experienced defenders, Jones has too much talent and potential to ignore. The Blackburn youngster is still in the early stages of his development, but he has shown glimpses of a future world-class centre-back. The starlet would most likely feature as a squad player in his first season with the Gunners.
Wenger likes to groom his youngsters and teach them how to play his style of football. Therefore, Jones would most likely fall behind Koscielny and Djourou in the pecking order at centre-back. The youngster's versatility would be important for Arsenal, as he would also provide cover for Alexandre Song at the defensive midfield position. First-team action would be scarce for Jones in his first year under Wenger, but his future is bright with the Gunners.
While the English youngster will have to wait for his chance to break into the starting 11, he could become the key figure in Arsenal's defense over the next few years. Jones' passing ability and composure on the ball makes him a great partner for Thomas Vermaelen.
The Belgian is a strong, commanding defender and does not have the technique of a ball-playing centerback. The Englishman would not only provide great balance to the Arsenal backline, but his ability on the ball makes him a perfect fit for Wenger's passing system.
The Gunners' fluid attacking football would benefit from a central defender that is comfortable picking out passes and spreading the play. Although Jones is still young, he has the potential to be an top-quality defender for the Gunners.
Jones' impressive season with Blackburn has put him at the top of club's summer transfer list. Liverpool, Manchester United and City have all shown interest in signing the young Arsenal target.
Although the Gunners have a good chance of landing the Blackburn starlet, Jones has stated his desire to join Liverpool. The Reds have plenty of English talent, and the young defender would slot in as the natural successor to Jamie Carragher at the heart of Liverpool's defense.
Nonetheless, Jones' future is still undecided and all the aforementioned clubs are still possible destinations for the young Englishman.