|Source: Getty Images|
|Source: Getty Images|
Name: Phil Jones
Date of Birth (Age): 21 February 1992 (age 28)
Signed: 1st Jul 2011
Appearances This Season: 8
Aerials Duels Won Per Game: 4.2
Pass success percentage: 88.4
Contract till: 30th Jun 2023
Phil Jones had made the lowest amount of career appearances in the 2019/20 season with only 8 compared to 24 and 25 the previous season. He has been blighted by either injuries and other United players ahead in the pecking order. When we had signed Jones back in 2011, there were high hopes that he would go on to be a great player for United that could play in either the defence or the midfield.
Sir Alex Ferguson said at the time, “Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player. I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, not matter where we play him. At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch. He has such a massive influence, with his instinct and reading of the game. He has a drive about him.”
We have seen his potential at various points but at 28 now, he should be in the peak of his career. When Jones has been in the first team and built up a run of games, he looks a very good player but there have been niggling injuries that have curtailed his form.
He only made 2 appearances in the league this season as he started the 3-3 draw away to Sheffield United and was hauled off at half time as the opposition players had been running rings round him. He would have to wait another 2 months before he was back in the starting eleven, which was the 2-0 defeat to Burnley at Old Trafford in what was the lowest point in United’s season though all the players didn’t cover themselves in glory that night.
Jones can sometimes recklessly launch himself into challengers when he just needs to keep on his feet, guiding the player and ball away from the goal. He can also look clumsy and all over the shop at times as evident in the game against Sheffield United this season.
He scored his only goal of the season in the 6-0 victory against Tranmere in the FA Cup Fourth Round, which was his first goal in 2,150 days for the club. Jones was so surprised he had scored he was unsure how to celebrate.
It remains to be seen if Phil Jones will still be at Old Trafford come the start of the new season, whether he is sold or goes out on loan to another club. Jones is still nursing a knee injury and it was understood that he was set to undergo surgery for this. As reported by the Mirror, United have decided against this option as they look to offload and have funds to bring in new players.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website a few weeks back, “Phil has been following an individualised training programme during the post-lockdown period to optimise recovery from a knee problem. He will continue to work with a fitness coach at the Aon Training Complex.”
The issue is that Jones is currently not an attractive proposition at the moment for clubs. Plus he presents a serious injury risk for those clubs who would take a chance on him and the fact he might require knee surgery further down the line. United are trying to get his fitness up so he will attract some interest.