Phil Jones will leave Manchester United this summer.
The centre-back joined the club in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers and won the Premier League in the follow season prior to Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
I didn’t help Jones — or Chris Smelling — that Fergie’s retirement led to a merry-go-round of managers.
However, as far as Jones is concerned, injuries were the biggest factor behind his fall from grace. The defender has not been able to train under Erik ten Hag or his coaching staff this year.
In turn, to get a deal at another club, Jones may need to agree to a pay-as-you-play contract.
The 31-year-old will leave the club this summer after making 229 appearances for the Reds.
In an interview with club media, Jones said (via ManUtd.com): “It’s been very difficult, the last couple of years. There’s no denying that. There is no hiding away from that. My family have been absolutely instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow and keeping me focused, to try to get fit and try to play more.
“And, you know, I’ve missed playing football. I missed it. You grow up playing football and all you want to do is play football. It’s all I’ve known, from such a young age, is to do what you love doing for a living. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that, albeit not as much as I would have liked.
“I’ve worked tirelessly hard. I literally left no stone unturned. I tried to get back as quick as I could, every time I was out in the last couple of years. I think the highlight for me would have to be the Wolves game [his return from injury last season], when I came back. That was just a moment that I’ll never forget. It gives me goosebumps now, thinking about it. I mean I worked so, so hard to get to that stage of fitness.
“That was a huge, huge moment in my career and the fans, that day, were incredible. The love that they showed me for that game, the passion that they showed, was sensational. And I can’t thank them enough for that. They’ve been a constant support throughout my time here.”
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Jones, but we would like to see him move elsewhere and get a bit of a break in terms of injuries. He deserves to enjoy his football before he decides to hang up his boots.
All the best, Jonesy!
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