Out of favour Manchester United defender Phil Jones is reportedly being lined up for a shock Serie A switch this summer, despite interest from former United manager David Moyes, who is now managing West Ham United, for the second time in his career. The Athletic have suggested that the 28-year-old could follow the steps of Chris Smalling.
Jones has been at United for nearly ten years and despite having one Premier League title, one FA Cup, two FA Community Shields and a UEFA Europa League on his list of honours at the club, based on the prospects he had when he joined United, he should have done so much better as a player but injury kept on coming, something he is affected by now.
This season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s preferred defensive lineup involved both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire as a central defensive partnership with Eric Bailly as the backup in the squad. Jones has made just eight appearances for United this season, scoring one goal. It shows that his future is not part of Solskjaer’s plans, even when not injured.
It looks as if Axel Tuanzebe, who is out of action until September, could be given a bigger role at the club next season which would suggest that Jones needs to find another club. United also continue to be linked with a mother defender, which may or may not happen this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is clear that Jones needs to find a new club to salvage what is left of his career. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Jones was tipped as a future club captain but his demise under David Moyes continued under both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho and is continuing now, under Solskjaer. With this many managers not trusting him regularly, it is not a problem with them.
Jones could look at what Smalling has done in Italy, making 32 appearances, scoring two goals and one assist for AS Roma with the player seemingly resurrecting his career in Italy, which is something that Jones could do too, if a club out there is interested in signing Jones, who has three years remaining on his current contract, with the option of a fourth.