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Erik Ten Hag Makes Astonishing Phil Jones Admission

Erik Ten Hag Makes Astonishing Phil Jones Admission
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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It would be easy to forget that Phil Jones is a Manchester United player at times.

The 30-year-old centre back has made just four Premier League appearances since 2020-21, and has consistently struggled for fitness during the latter stages of his career.

After a promising start to his time at Old Trafford, which included a Premier League title in 2012-13, he has fallen out of favour, and his injury problems have taken their toll in recent years.

New manager Erik Ten Hag has yet to utilise Jones in his defence but that may be easier to understand after a shocking revelation made by Ten Hag on Friday.

Phil Jones: Erik Ten Hag has not seen Englishman complete training

Erik Ten Hag has made some big calls in defence this season. He has moved away from Manchester United's dependence on the inconsistent Harry Maguire at centre back, as well as trialling out Luke Shaw at the heart of defence, rather than as a full-back.

His predecessor, Ralf Rangnick, played things safer - though he did manage to work Phil Jones back into first team contention, after the Englishman spent almost two years on the sidelines with a chronic knee injury.

Now, his injury problems have returned once again, and Erik Ten Hag has revealed that Jones has not even trained with the team since the beginning of the season.


When asked about the potential for a new contract for Jones at United, Ten Hag said:

No, it's not been taken until now. The decision about that is for the summer, but for the whole season he's injured.

I can't say (if Jones will play again this season). What I can say is that he's not available for training since the first day of training this season so I think there's not an opportunity for you to recover quickly and be available quickly.

It's a remarkable admission, and a sad reflection of just how far Phil Jones has fallen at Manchester United.

Last January, Jones was arguably the best player on the pitch for United on his return against Wolves - his first game in over nearly two years. Despite the team's ultimate 1-0 defeat, Jones was widely praised by fans and pundits for his performance, and was visibly emotional as he left the pitch, having worked so hard to get back on the pitch.

He would struggle for full fitness for the remainder of the 2021-22 season and only started one more game - a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.


The ex-Blackburn Rovers man has suffered regular online abuse from rival fans and Manchester United fans alike in recent years - so much so that he has been inactive on Twitter since 2017.

He looked to have come out the other side of his injury battles in early 2022, but it seems he is now firmly back at square one, and it is now surely unlikely we will ever see Phil Jones play for Manchester United again.

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