Manchester United have reportedly decided against surgery for Phil Jones who has been on the sidelines with a knee injury. The injury would keep the player out of the UEFA Europa League, which is why he did not travel with the rest of the squad to Germany ahead of their quarter-final against FC Cologne on Monday evening. Surgery would rule the player out of action until the New Year. The player was scheduled to undergo surgery on Sunday with medical staff seeking rehabilitation instead.
The Mirror has reported the news on the day that the United squad headed out to Cologne ahead of Monday’s class with the Danish side in a bid to reach the semi-final of the competition with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeking to win his first trophy as manager of the club. United are said to be seeking a buyer for Jones, 28, who signed for the club nine years ago from Blackburn Rovers for £16 million. The player has not been used by Solskjaer much this season. Solskjaer, talking about Jones, said:
“Phil [Jones] has been following an individualised training programme during the post-lockdown period to optimise recovery from a knee problem.
“It was a good opportunity as we had sufficient cover in defensive positions for the remaining Premier League games and he will continue to work with a fitness coach at the Aon Training Complex, while the squad are in Germany.“
During the 2019/20 season, Jones made a total of eight appearances for United, playing 562 minutes of football. He contributed one goal, against Tranmere Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup. Jones last featured for United in the 2-0 defeat to Burnley in January and was on the bench for two further league matches – missing the last 19 matches this season and seemingly set to miss the final few matches of the season in the Europa League. United clearly do not have plans for him moving forward.
Obviously, if Jones needs surgery, it might need to be something he has at his new club, if United find a buyer for him this summer. West Ham United, led by former United manager David Moyes, held interest in Jones and teammate Jesse Lingard but this seems to have been denied by Hammers sources, which is probably the best thing for them to be honest. Neither of these players are going to make West Ham a better club. There has to be some interest in Jones this summer.
However, the player being injured and needing surgery might be a major problem in United offloading the player, who still has three years remaining on his contract with the option of another year. United could be stuck with the player for the remainder of that contract. On hindsight, United should have let the player leave on the expiry of his last contract with with the Glazers aiming to save money, both Jones and Chris Smalling were rewarded with new contracts at United.
In his time at United, Jones has made just 224 appearances for the club, scoring six goals and 10 assists. This works out to fewer than 25 appearances each season at United which shows that he has had problems at United for a prolonged period time. Jones has suffered 19 separate injuries in his time at United which has led to him missing 121 matches for the club. This is not ideal for the player or the club and could pose a massive problem with United trying to offload the player this summer.
Written by John Walker