England Manager Gareth Southgate Opens Up on Who He Believes Is the Country's Best Defender
England manager Gareth Southgate has claimed that Manchester United's Phil Jones is the country's best defender after the centre-half's impressive performance against Malta on Friday night.
The Three Lions have received a lot of flack for their overall 'boring' performance away to the Maltese - despite ending the game with a 4-0 victory; but having left the game with a clean sheet, Southgate has been quick to heap praise on the defending shown from Phil Jones.
"Not just this season but there was a long period in the middle of last season where I think he has been the best defender," Southgate told Sky Sports.
"He's got very good composure on the ball. He's got the reading of the game, he's aggressive in his defending - which I like - and I think he has got fantastic experience, although he is still only relatively young.
"Obviously he has missed a lot of football. I remember watching him against Spain under Fabio [Capello] so we are going back quite a long way since he made his debut.
"He's had great experiences with club and country. He organises well, he competes well so I'm delighted we've been able to involve him this time and it was clear the other night [against Malta] what he brings to the team."
England now face Slovakia on Monday night as Southgate looks to emulate the same kind of result that his side showed on Friday - this time in front of a Wembley crowd. The England boss has confirmed that Liverpool's Jordan Henderson will once again don the captain's armband for the match.