A fearless teenager dubbed ‘the new John Terry’ made his Premier League debut 10 years ago today, his performance helping Rovers earn a priceless point against Chelsea at Ewood Park.

Phil Jones was thrust in to the heart of the Rovers defence, and tasked with marshalling Didier Drogba, as injury ruled out by Ryan Nelsen and Gael Givet.

Jones withdrawn from Rovers’ FA Youth Cup semi-final squad, which faced Chelsea 24 hours after their meeting in the Premier League, to be thrown in for his league debut.

He won great acclaim, not least for a series of thundering tackles that lifted the Ewood crowd and helped inspire Rovers to a point that moved them 11 clear of the relegation zone.

Allardyce admitted injuries made it easier for him to select the untested Jones, but was delighted by what he saw.

“We have said before he looks a little like John Terry in his body language and he had a great Premier League debut,” the then Rovers boss said.

“We did recommend him to the England under 19s and they have taken some notice.

"We are telling them what a good player he was and he should be playing at that level for England.

“He has a long way to go to get to the standard of being a regular Premier League player though.

"He is on the right track by doing what he did.

“It is nice when you see a player that excites you like that, particularly when you used to be a centre half like myself.”

Jones joined Martin Olsson as the second Rovers Academy graduate to start the game, with a third, Junior Hoilett, coming off the bench.

And Allardyce said players such as Jones will be part of Rovers’ fabric moving forward.

He added: “The decision to play Phil comes easier when Ryan and Gael are injured but we have seen him play in the first team this year and do very, very well, particularly at Aston Villa in the FA Cup.

“Seeing a young lad from Chorley do that, a lot of credit to our academy.

"We all talk about how few players we develop and part of Blackburn’s success story will be developing people like Phil Jones and more of them.

“We have got Olsson and Hoilett, which is pretty good, and Phil is another coming through.

"I am pleased with the overall performance.

"We had a lot of injuries to cope with and people have come in and played their part and not weakened the side in any way.”

Diouf’s equaliser, 20 minutes from time, cancelled out Didier Drogba’s sixth minute opener which came at a time when the visitors were dominant.

A thundering tackle from Jones on halfway however lifted his side and Rovers responded well to the early setback, with the draw moving them to 12th in the table.

“I think the game needed something like that to spice the game up and get the crowd going. If that is that it took then that is what it needed,” the defender said.

“You have to be aggressive as a centre half but you have to be composed on the ball and I thought we did that very well.

“Right at the end I saw John Terry making the run and I lost him for a second and I just had to throw myself at the ball and thankfully it deflected off my head for a corner.”

Jones made his Rovers debut in a Carling Cup tie at Nottingham Forest in September 2009 and also featured in the same competition the following month against Peterborough.

An FA Cup tie against Aston Villa in January 2010 was a step up in level, before making his top-flight debut two months later.

On being selected, he added: “We did some shape work on Thursday and I had a feeling I was playing then.

“Obviously there were a few nerves but I was more excited to get out there than have nerves.

“It is just another game at the end of the day and one in which I knew I had to do well and play well. I think we played well as a team and deserved the point.

“I think we are looking upwards, we are looking at the higher end of the table and hopefully we can get as many points as possible and see where we can go from there.”

Jones would play just 40 times for Rovers, sold to Manchester United in the summer of 2011 for a fee in the region of £16m.