Phil Jones

England international Phil Jones may have already played his final game for Manchester United, ESPN has speculated.

Jones has not been in action for Manchester United since being shockingly picked by Ralf Rangnick for the Red Devils’ clash against Liverpool on April 20. Lacking fitness after undergoing knee surgery, Jones failed to impress in that fixture as the visitors haplessly succumbed to a 4-0 defeat at Anfield.

Jones was left of United’s roster during registration before the start of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, meaning he is ineligible to play in the league. The player could still technically become a member of the registered squad in January. However, considering he has not started consecutive Premier League matches since May 2019, it looks unlikely.

Potential deals for the player did not work out in the summer due to fitness issues. And since it was unknown when he would return to full fitness, Erik ten Hag decided against adding him to his registered squad.

Jones’ current contract with Manchester United runs out in June 2023. The club holds the option to extend it for an additional year, but according to the aforementioned source, they could choose not to.

Jones, who suffered a knee injury in February 2020 that ruled him out for almost a year, has featured in 229 games for the Old Trafford unit across competitions. He has scored six times and provided 10 assists, winning one Premier League title and an FA Cup, amongst other honors.

Manchester United center-back Phil Jones endured injury “hell”
Jones, who joined United as a 19-year-old in 2011, has never played 30 Premier League games over the course of a season. He has always been held back by injuries and fitness issues, with knee problems being the most persistent.

In a 2021 interview with Manchester United’s club website, the player opened up on his struggles, revealing how much he suffered following a knee injury in February 2020. Jones had said (via Sky Sports):

“I’ve been through hell and back over the last couple of years,” Jones told Manchester United’s club website.
“I struggled with my knee a little bit and (there) came a point after lockdown where I thought enough was enough.
He added:

“I kept myself in great shape over lockdown and came back. But I remember just training out here [at Carrington] and going into the doc and saying ‘enough’s enough’. Unfortunately, there was going to be time off the pitch, which I knew was going to be difficult for me, but it was something that I had to do.”
Jones represented England at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups but is likely to sit out this year’s extravaganza in Qatar. Coach Gareth Southgate has not included him in his final pre-World Cup England squad, all but confirming that he wouldn’t call him up for the main event in November.

 

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