Phil Jones has become invisible to Manchester United fans and appears to have already left the club.
However, he and David de Gea are the only two remaining players from the club’s 2011 Premier League title winning team.
In 2012, Phil Jones was the subject of one of the Premier League’s most memorable moments as he stood on the field, waiting for news of Manchester City’s game against Queens Park Rangers. The following year, Sir Alex Ferguson praised Jones for his performance in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa that helped United reclaim the title.
After the game, Sir Alex said, “Jones could be our best ever player,” to which Jones responded, “It was unbelievable to hear that from someone of Sir Alex’s magnitude, but I just cared about winning the title.”
It would have been surprising for Jones to know in 2013 that United would not win another title in the next decade and even more surprising to know he would still be at the club 12 years later.
Jones’s career has not gone as planned, and reports that he had been ousted from the first-team changing room were disheartening. He did not go on United’s pre-season tour and was left out of the Premier League squad, indicating his declining status at the club.
Although he had a brief comeback under Ralf Rangnick last season, playing five games, his chronic knee problem has prevented him from playing more. His last appearance was in May’s 3-0 win over Brentford, and it appears to be his final one.
Jones has not trained since Erik ten Hag’s arrival, and there is no reason to keep him at the club beyond the summer when his contract expires. United cannot afford to hold onto players who are not providing value, and Jones has played only 13 games in the last 2 and a half seasons.
His contract expires this summer, and there is no chance of renewal. Jones is now 30 years old, and even his 2019 contract extension seemed strange considering his limited playing time. United cleared out dead weight in the summer, and it’s likely that Ten Hag will do the same.