Phil Jones has been one of the more surprising success stories under Jose Mourinho.
The Manchester United defender has never quite established himself because of injuries, but the fact that successive managers have persevered with him has to say something about his talent.
Mourinho was left praying the England international could stay fit after first-choice centre-backs Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling were both crocked against Chelsea.
Not only has he managed to put a run of games together, he’s also played incredibly well.
Nonetheless, the 24-year-old would no doubt like to go one better, namely by putting himself back in contention for another England call-up.
Jones hasn’t featured for England since last November when he came on in the 1-0 win over France at Wembley.
However, Mourinho thinks he has earned a return to the Three Lions set-up under their new manager Gareth Southgate.
“Jones is doing this season much better than in the previous two seasons and he’s giving hope to everyone that he can be back to normality,” the United boss said, via Sky Sports.
“And who knows? Be back to the national team, be a firm choice at Manchester United, because he’s doing very well.”
Southgate will be keeping an eye on all the English centre-backs in the Premier League, and if John Stones continues to underperform at Manchester City, there could well be a spot up for grabs soon.