Sports

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms forgotten player is back in contention for Man Utd

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms forgotten player is back in contention for Man Utd

Phil Jones has not played for Manchester United for 18 months due to multiple injury setbacks but has now returned to fitness ahead of the new season getting underway

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Phil Jones is returning to full training with the club.

The former England international has not played a competitive match for 18 months but is now back in contention for United following multiple injury problems.

The 29-year-old has not featured in a competitive games since the FA Cup Fourth Round victory over Tranmere Rovers on 26 January – and did not feature at all for the club last season.

Jones has featured in just two Premier League games across the past two seasons and it had been assumed that he would have no future at the club.

Phil Jones last played for Man United in January 2020 ( Image: Getty Images)
The signing of central defender Raphael Varane from Real Madrid this summer has further pushed Jones down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Varane is likely to form a central defensive partnership with club captain Harry Maguire at United while Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly are also above Jones in the selection process.


Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi have also featured prominently in pre-season for Solskjaer’s side, although both players are likely to leave the club on loan this campaign.

A host of Championship clubs want to land Mengi on a season-long loan deal while Tuanzebe is thought to be wanted by Premier League clubs, with Newcastle United linked to a move.

That may mean that Jones is involved in the first-team squad for the upcoming season and the United boss told reporters he would be returning to the fold after a lengthy spell away.

Solskjaer said: “Phil Jones is coming back in. He’s due to start training over the weekend when we’ve got everyone in on Monday, which is a big plus for him.

Does Phil Jones have a future at Man United? Comment below

Phil Jones has become the forgotten player at Man United

Phil Jones has become the forgotten player at Man United

“I’ve had similar troubles in my career and he’s such a professional good lad.

“It’s great to see him ready to train again. Hopefully Jonah can first of all training with us and then game-time soon.

“If he can play in the 23s to start with or reserves, or we can arrange some behind closed doors for him because I know exactly the feeling of being out for so long.

“You just want to feel your way in. He’s always served the club and it was time to look after him and his own health but now he’s ready to train with us.”

Jones has two years remaining on his contract at Old Trafford, having last penned an extension to his deal in 2019.

The defender joined United from Blackburn Rovers in 2011 and has clocked up a total of 224 first-team appearances for the club, scoring six goals.

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