Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Does This Forgotten Star Have Any Place At Manchester United Next Season?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Manchester United under Jose Mourinho look like one of the strongest sides not only in the domestic league but also all over Europe after the additions the new manager has made in the summer. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan add great quality to the squad while Paul Pogba, if moves to Old Trafford from Turin, will add the needed mettle in midfield that can lift them to success in coming years.

However, the new signings and the excitement around them has seen a number of Manchester United players fear for their places in the squad next season and one such player is Phil Jones. A centre-back by trait, the 24-year old England international has been at the club since moving from Blackburn Rovers in 2011. Since his move, he has made 104 appearances and has been used in more than one position with good effect.

He played as a centre- back for most of the chances he got in the last two seasons but he has already proven himself in a defensive midfield position and also as a full-back. However, under Mourinho, Jones is likely to be used as a centre-half but having failed to prove himself in the loss to Borussia Dortmund in a recent friendly, it looks like the 24-year old will have to prove himself and put in a decent performance to make sure that the manager is impressed and that he has a future at the club.

So does Jones really have a chance at renewing his career at Old Trafford? Can he be a potent weapon under Mourinho?

The 24-year old was one of the most impressive defenders in his debut season with the club and showed that even at his age, he has learnt a lot about the English game. He is a defender who is tailor-made for the Premier League with his strength and personality and his ability with the ball at his feet also make him a decent ball player. But his strength in the air and ability to read the game make him a dangerous defender. Under Mourinho however, Jones will have to play a compact game where he will constantly be under pressure and he will have to shoulder the responsibilities of the team if he is given a place in the starting XI.

The new manager has already signed the likes of Eric Bailly to partner Chris Smalling in defense and may be the first choice centre-back pairing for the club next season. This leaves Phil Jones with a place on the bench making him work hard for every minute on the field. However, with Daley Blind the only other centre-back in the squad at the moment (that too a make-shift one) Jones is certainly within the reach of a place in the starting XI at least in cup games.

It will be an interesting season for Manchester United as Jose Mourinho, who is known for the discipline in his sides is yet to make the defense at United stronger and though it looks like the manager is trying to lure the likes of John Stones and Leonardo Bonucci to the club, they will still need the likes of Jones and Blind to be in good form going into the next season.

Do you think Phil Jones has a future at Old Trafford?

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