Man Utd defender in ‘serious distress’ as journalist reveals his bleak ‘reality’ under Ten Hag

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd defender Jones

The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell claims Man Utd defender Phil Jones ‘is not considered an option’ by Erik ten Hag so he is unlikely to play again this season.

Jones used to be a regular starter for Man Utd but he has been seriously hampered by injuries over the past couple of seasons.

The 31-year-old has only managed to make six Premier League appearances since the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

It is somewhat surprising that he remains at Man Utd, even though he performed admirably in his five appearances during the 2021/22 season.

Ten Hag has opted to use Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane at centre-back when both players have been fit this season. This has left Jones, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof down the pecking order.

But Man Utd have been dealt a major blow as Martinez and Varane have suffered injuries. Maguire and Lindelof came in to start over the weekend against Nottm Forest and helped Man Utd keep a clean sheet in their 2-0 victory.

Jones is not registered to play in the Premier League, but with Maguire suspended for this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton, some were hoping to see the outcast come in to make his first United appearance of the season.

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But Whitwell has confirmed that this will not be happening. In David Ornstein’s Monday morning column for The Athletic, it is revealed that Jones has been left in ‘serious distress’ after ‘suffering a relapse of his long-standing knee issue’.

‘The reality is Jones has not been able to complete a Ten Hag session all season and is not considered an option.

‘Jones, 31, played five times in the second half of last campaign under Ralf Rangnick, acquitting himself well, and spent his holidays doing physical work to get in the best shape possible for pre-season under a new manager.

‘But he suffered a relapse of his long-standing knee issue on the first day of training with his team-mates, which caused him serious distress, according to one source close to the squad, who will remain anonymous to protect relationships. Much to his deep frustration, he has been unable to get fit since.

‘Jones has tried various specialists over the years, undergoing a procedure in 2020 that appeared to have helped, but the problem has persisted. He was not named in United’s squad for Premier League or Europa League competitions this season.

‘His contract expires at the end of the season and although United have the option to extend, they are not expected to do so.’

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