England's Phil Jones challenges Sweden's Johan Elmander during their international friendly soccer match in London
England's Phil Jones challenges Sweden's Johan Elmander (R) during their international friendly soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London, November 15, 2011. REUTERS

Fabio Capello has compared Manchester United sensation Phil Jones to Real Madrid hero Fernando Hierro and AC Milan legend Franco Baresi, following the former Blackburn Rovers starlet's super efforts in central midfield against Sweden on Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old is widely recognised to be a centre-back by trade but has displayed a superb versatility for Manchester United and England this season.

Fabio Capello has played the hugely promising Jones at right-back and central-midfield in his three England caps to date, while the former Blackburn Rovers prodigy has also played in a variety of positions for Manchester United.

Capello suggests the Manchester United star's seamless ability to play in a variety of positions, most notably in central-defence and in midfield, singles him out as an extraordinary talent and one that has similar qualities to the aforementioned Baresi and Hierro.

The AC Milan and Real Madrid icons were equally adept at playing in a more advanced role despite being widely recognised as two of the finest defenders of their generation. Capello believes Jones has a similar fearlessness and suggests the Manchester United defender's recent performances against Spain and Sweden has marked him out as a hugely important player for the national side.

"It is really difficult to find a player like him," Capello told Skysports.com.

"In my career, I have only found two players who could do it, Franco Baresi and Fernando Hierro, and they were pretty good.

"He can play in these different positions, but always at the top level.

"When he receives the ball he always plays without fear. Good passes, good solutions. Every time the best solution.

"It was a really important test for him because now I know if Scott Parker will not be fit I have a solution. He is a talent."

Jones moved to Manchester United in the summer from Blackburn Rovers for a reported fee of £17 million and has since gone on to establish himself as a key player for club and country. He was one of the few individuals to be heavily involved in both the recent internationals and has also played more games for United than anyone else this season.