Manchester United defender Phil Jones must "iron out the flaws" in his game if he is to become the next great centre-half at club and international level, according to Alan Hansen.
The 19-year-old England defender has experienced an excellent start to life at Old Trafford, becoming a regular member of Manchester United's first team and Fabio Capello's England squad since his summer move from Blackburn Rovers.
Jones was Blackburn's stand-out player last season during a miserable campaign for the Lancashire side. His determination to succeed either in defence or midfield shone through and prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to pay £16.5m for the teenager in June.
The defender has garnered comparisons to Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand but former Liverpool legend Alan Hansen has cautioned the youngster still has a long way to go before he can fulfil his potential for both club and country.
While acknowledging the improvements made by Jones this season, Hansen believes the defender must improve in a number of areas if he hopes to secure the centre-back position at Manchester United and in the England first eleven.
"I still think Jones has to work on his positional sense - something which might come to him in time, or might not," Hansen told The Daily Telegraph.
"I can see why Jones is being compared to Ferdinand, however, and I wouldn't suggest that Rio was way ahead of Jones when he was 19-years-old.
"But playing at centre-half and mastering the role takes time. Ferdinand had his problems as a young centre-half before becoming one of the greats and Jones must still iron out the flaws in his game before he justifies his billing as Rio's most likely successor.
Nevertheless, Jones himself believes his game has improved dramatically since he moved to Manchester United in the summer.
"When I was growing up I just wanted to play at the highest level I could play at, and wherever that takes me so be it. I just have to keep performing for club and country and hopefully I can get there one day," he said on the eve of England's 1-0 victory over Spain.
"Rio has been brilliant with me. We still have the same banter in training. He is still a fantastic player and will continue to be a fantastic player - so no issues."
Jones earned his second cap against the Spaniards and is expected to feature in Tuesday's friendly clash with Sweden as he looks to secure a place in Fabio Capello's squad for next summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.