When Phil Jones was named on the bench for the draw at Chelsea in November, it was the first time the centre-back had been named in a Premier League matchday squad in 650 days.
Jones didn’t make an appearance against Chelsea and, on top of that, he has not played senior football since United’s home defeat to Burnley in January 2000.
It would be a stretch to call him a squad player at this point as he hasn’t featured for the first team in over 700 days, but maybe with some match sharpness we’ll see him make at least one more appearance for the Reds.
According to The Athletic, Jones has asked to play for United’s U23s against Chelsea in the Premier League 2 on Friday at Leigh Sports Village.
United’s U23s are currently positioned 7th in the table, whereas Chelsea are seven points behind us in 11th, so they have a bit of work to do after the winter break.
Jones needs to increase his match sharpness for two reasons: 1) in case Ralf Rangnick decides to play him and 2) if he is to get a move away from Old Trafford in January.
The report also notes that Rangnick has been impressed by Jones’ application in training.
U23s manager Neil Wood will hope that Jones’ experience will shine through in the youth team clash.