Blackburn Rovers starlet Phil Jones believes he is the “luckiest teenager around” as he relishes the prospect of a long-term future at his boyhood club.

Rovers’ 18-year-old centre back has emerged as the latest first team member to have come through the youth ranks at Ewood and, despite fast becoming hot property, insists he is ready to grow with Blackburn.

The Chorley-born defender has leapt to national prominence with a number of starring performances towards the end of campaign, prompting speculation linking the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United with him.

But, having just signed a new five-year deal with Rovers, Jones only has eyes on continuing his education at the club he has always loved.

He said: “I don't think I ever dreamed I would have done so well this season. At the start of the season one of my aims for the season was trying to tie down a regular place in the reserves and things progress from there.

“If you had said I would get one game towards the end of the season I would have bitten your hand off.

"To get as many as I have done and to have progressed as well as I have done, it is unbelievable.

"I am probably the luckiest teenager around at the moment.

“I think it does mean that little bit more being local.

"There is more passion probably and a bit more drive – I am not disputing there is that in the others though, there is a lot of passion in this team.

“Obviously it is pleasing to hear clubs like that coming in for you and looking at you but at the end of the day I am a Blackburn Rovers player, I have signed a five-year contract and I am happy at the club.

“Of course I intend to be here in five years time. I have a five-year contract and there is no reason why I can't do well in these five years.

"You never say never because you never know what is going to happen but I would like to think I would be here for the full five years and even further after that.”

Jones, who is representing England under 19s in the European Championships in the Ukraine later this month, was at the Millennium Stadium in 2002 to roar Rovers on to victory against Tottenham.

And now, having sampled semi-final heartbreak this season, he is determined to return to a major cup final as a player sooner rather than later.

He said: “It probably gives you that bit more desire.

"I grew up supporting Blackburn Rovers, my dad used to take me on the terraces.

“The title-winning season was a bit early for me. But I have some good memories.

"I was at the Worthington Cup final and remember Matt Jansen and Andy Cole scoring.

“It is an amazing feeling playing for the club you supported as a kid.

"Of course one day it would be great to get to Wembley with Blackburn.

"That is every footballers' dream. We were unlucky to lose in a semi-final so maybe we can go one step further next time.”

Jones hasn’t been the only Rovers young gun to have broken into the first team this season, with Grant Hanley and Amine Linganzi making their debuts on the final day of the season, joining the likes of Steven Nzonzi, Martin Olsson, Nikola Kalinic and Junior Hoilett.

“I always believe you will get your chance if you work hard and keep doing well in training,” said Jones.

“You never know where that will take you.

“This has to be the best club for a youngster in the Premier League.

"We are blooding young players. West Ham were supposed to be the club who were blooding the youngsters but we have come into that category and we have more than ever.”