Believe the hype

Jones and Henderson will prove good value, insists Taylor

Last Updated: 10/06/11 11:57am

Henderson & Jones: big-money movers

Former England Under-21 boss Peter Taylor insists current starlets Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson can justify their big-money moves by shining at this month's UEFA U21 Championship in Denmark.

"They've got to deal with the pressure of the big fee but they're outstanding young English players, so while it's a lot of money now I think it'll prove good value. "

Peter Taylor

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Blackburn defender Jones is set for a £17m to Manchester United while Liverpool have reportedly shelled out £20m to take midfielder Jordan Henderson from Sunderland.

On the 19-year-old Jones, Taylor said: "He looks as though he's calm on the ball and looks a great defender. He's only played 26 games for Blackburn so it's amazing how much he's gone for but Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't often get these things wrong.

"It's like the Chris Smalling situation - people were surprised he went that route. Jones looks a great prospect. I saw him play at the start of last season for the Under-21s. He's a great athlete and looks great on the ball so he's a perfect United player.

"As much as he looks nice on the ball, he looks a really strong defender. I'm sure they've made a tremendous signing."


On Henderson, who despite being just 20 years old is already a full England international, Taylor said: "It's a lot of money but I must admit I like the way Henderson plays. He really tests teams with his passing and he looks to get the ball into the space between the defenders and the goalkeeper.

"These players have got to handle these fees because all of a sudden their mind might go off the most important thing which is their job. They've got to deal with that but they're outstanding young English players so while it's a lot of money now I think it's good value.

"I think they'll get a bit of stick from the other Under-21 lads, who will be asking for a loan every now and then! I'm sure they get every bit of help they can and I spoke to Stuart Pearce yesterday and he said the two boys are very level-headed.

"Despite Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll not going, it's still a good squad. There's still 11 players in the squad that were playing regular Premier League football. There's eight of them that were playing Championship football so we're still very strong. I can remember when I got my first Under-21 squad together and I was getting reserves out of Championship sides.

"We've got a really good chance. We're in the hardest group but if Sturridge and Welbeck can do that alongside Henderson and Jones we're looking pretty strong."


Taylor also feels that England winger Ashley Young would flourish should his prospective switch to Old Trafford go through.

The 25-year-old is thought to be keen to taste Champions League football, and Taylor commented: "When Martin O'Neill paid that money everyone was saying it was too much but now he's going to go for twice that. He's a very talented player and he's confident that he could handle the Manchester United pressure.

"Again it's a lot of money but his goal return and the way he makes goals mean he's got a good end product about him and that's why he's going for such a big fee.

"I think his best position is wide left. He's right-footed and gets some great crosses in but it gives him that option if the full-back doesn't get tight you can easily get an inswinging cross in that defenders don't like defending against."