Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Phil Jones can go on to become the greatest player in the club's history.

Following United's 3-0 win over Aston Villa that sealed their 20th league title on Monday night, the United boss lavished praise on his young squad, having already compared them to the treble-winning group of 1999.

But the Scot singled out 21-year-old Jones for particularly high praise, suggesting the former Blackburn Rovers defender is capable of surpassing the legendary status the likes of Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards, George Best and Eric Cantona achieved at the club.

Phil Jones
Jones will become United's best ever player, according to his manager. (Reuters)

"Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player," Ferguson said during last night's celebrations, ESPN report. "I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, not no matter where we play him. At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch.

"He has such a massive influence, with his instinct and reading of the game. He has a drive about him."

With the likes of David De Gea and Rafael da Silva - both just 22 - also playing integral roles in United's domestic success, the Scot was quick to highlight the strides his young stars have made this season, and backed the group to go from strength to strength.

"Rafa [Rafael da Silva] is incredible. The impetuosity has left him playing with greater maturity now, as the season has progressed. David De Gea has developed fantastically well.

"I think we have a nucleus of players who are young enough we expect them to improve. It's not asking too much of players to improve."

Jones, De Gea and Rafael all started on Monday night as Ferguson's side set about sealing their latest title in remarkable style, courtesy of a sublime hat-trick from Robin van Persie. Having gone on a barren spell lasting ten games over the past few months, signs of the Dutchman's irresistible form had returned with two goals in his last two appearances, before his marvellous haul at Old Trafford last night.

The highlight of the former Arsenal's man's treble was a sumptuous volley from an exquisite pass from Wayne Rooney, a strike that left his manager blown away.

"It was the goal of the century, for me, a marvellous hit," Ferguson added.

"He has been unbelievable. His form in the first six months was fantastic. He had that spell where had not scored a goal. Like every striker, he had a dry spell."

Van Persie is now likely to receive a guard of honour from his former Arsenal teammates when United travel to the Emirates on Sunday as newly crowned champions.