Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United fell to their third consecutive defeat in all competition last weekend as Walter Mazzarri’s side put three past the Red Devils at the Vicarage Road. This game highlighted everything that is wrong with the team at the moment and it looks like Jose Mourinho is still not getting into his senses. The attacking unit of the club is easily one of the best not just in the country but also in Europe but the defensive unit is something the manager needs to work on.
He has used the likes of Daley Blind, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly in the centre back position but none of the three have shown enough promise in the 6 games in all competitions this season to cement a place in the starting XI for every game this season. Never mind the game against Northampton, you can’t really be proud of a win against the struggling League 1 side who were massive underdogs when the two sides met last night.
This is the reason why recent reports suggesting that Mourinho wants to get rid of England international Phil Jones this January make no sense whatsoever. The manager needs a proper defensive line that can settle in for the long term and help the whole team with a solid base. However, Mourinho has decided to sell one of the few players in the squad that can help them strengthen their defence.
The 24-year old is currently sidelined due to a knee injury and has not been able to provide the manager with an option at the start of the season. He is still nursing an injury that he picked up against Swansea midway through last season and it is understood that Mourinho wants to get him off the books as he has not been able to keep himself fit. The same reports suggest that the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool are ready to take the risk and these links prove that Mourinho will commit a mistake if he lets the England international leave in January.
A tall, commanding centre-back, who has already acquired 20 senior appearances for his national side, Phil Jones was one of the consistent defenders for Manchester United for a sometime under Sir Alex before picking up a nasty injury. At his best, Jones is a player who uses his strength to fend off the opposition and this can make his seem clumsy. But he is a player who is confident on the ball and is a decent passer.
Having also played as a full-back in his spell at Blackburn, Jones knows the attacking part of the game well enough to anticipate what his opponents are trying to do, an attribute that makes him a reliable centre half. Jones played 104 games for the club since 2011 and could have been an integral part of the squad now, if not for the injury. He is a player who can command his box, keep his back line disciplined and though he looks nervous at times, he is more than a decent defender.
His biggest plus point is his age. At just 24, he is one of the most exciting defenders in domestic football in England and will surely improve the more game time he gets. He may not be ready yet to help Manchester United before January, but he is a player who will save the club all the millions that they are ready to spend on other players in this inflated market. Mourinho seems to believe that the £10m Jones will save per year on wages (£110,000 per week) can be spent on a quality player but the England international is already a Manchester United player and all he needs is a bit of encouragement from his manager to get back to his best, obviously after recovering from his injury.
Arsenal and Liverpool will gleefully take Jones to their club at a reduced price and hope that his worst injuries are behind him and in such a case, United will be left with a grim look on their face. Do you think Mourinho should sell Jones in January?