Manchester United defender Phil Jones has urged manager Louis Van gaal to let him prove he is ready to fill the gap left by Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand before making new signings.
The new United boss recently admitted he needs to bolster the defence after being forced to use Darren Fletcher as a centre-back during their 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy.
"I have no more defenders. So I have to pick a player [Fletcher] who can do the job but he is not so suitable for this position," Van Gaal said.
Van Gaal used a 3-5-2 formation in his first game with Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Jones himself forming the starting back-line while midfielder Fletcher and youngsters Tyler Blackett and Michael Keane replaced them in the second-half.
And even though the team managed not to concede any goals Van Gaal expressed his concerns about his lack of options in defence – hinting that he was ready to sign at least one centre-back with Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen, Daley Blind and Stefan De Vrij having linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent times.
Nevertheless, Jones has urged Van gaal to let the current squad prove its worth as the United manager said during his first days in charge that he will assess his current squad before making new additions.
"Everyone is trying to impress and it's only right that we give everything we've got and prove to the manager that we're worthy of starting the first game of the season," Jones was quoted by Daily Mail.
Jones believes he is ready to take the leadership of the defence following Vidic's and Ferdinand's departures.
"Of course, replacing those guys is ultimately what I want to be doing. Everyone is trying to impress and hopefully we can start the season off well. You've got to thrive on the challenge,"
'We've lost two great defenders in Rio and Nemanja. But that's football and we move on. We've got good players to replace them and hopefully we can all step up and improve that.
And questioned about his adaptation to the new 3-5-2 formation, he added: "You get used to a new system. This is the first time I've played three at the back."
'Every manager has got his philosophy. We're all pulling in the right direction and hopefully we'll have a better season.
'It's not a massive difference to what you're used to. You're a defender and you've got to defend. We'll keep working on it and I'm sure we'll be ready come the start of the season.'