Allardyce: Jones is ready for England

Allardyce puts 18-year-old defender Jones alongside Arsenal’s Jack

Wilshere as those young players who have shown they have the talent

to become senior international regulars by their displays in the

Premier League and for the England Under-21s. Jones has been

playing in central midfield for Rovers – and is likely to be there

again for Sunderland’s visit on Monday – but in his more familiar

centre-back spot for the Under-21s. Allardyce said: “You are never

too young if you are good enough. “It’s a balancing act of when is

the right time and when it’s beneficial for him to step up. “At the

moment only Fabio Capello and his team can make that judgement by

watching him in the Premier League – which is in midfield for us

where he has been outstanding this year – and for the Under-21s

where he plays at centre-half. “We all, myself included, think that

central defence will be his natural position in the end. “But when

an 18-year-old can step up into the ferociousness of the midfield

in the Premier League – which is more ferocious than in defence as

everything is happening all around you – and can compete at that

level it shows you the talent of this young man. “If you look at

all the players of Phil’s age there’s only him, young Jack Wilshere

at Arsenal, and perhaps Jack Rodwell at Everton if he wasn’t

injured, who play on a regular basis. “Whether it’s right to take

it a little bit further is for them [Capello] to decide.” Allardyce

warned however that there was a danger of playing the 18-year-old

too much and burning him out. He added: “For me it’s about managing

Phil Jones between the Under-21s and the Premier League and making

sure I don’t over-play him because that could be a problem. “There

could be a tendency to think that he’s a fit and healthy young man

who can run around every single game but we have to make sure we

don’t risk him being fatigued and perhaps getting injured.”