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Phil Jones 'Impressing Ralf Rangnick', Rules Stopped Defender Playing Against Young Boys

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Phil Jones 'Impressing Ralf Rangnick', Rules Stopped Defender Playing Against Young Boys

Manchester United’s forgotten man Phil Jones would have been selected for last week’s Champions League tie against Young Boys had he been eligible for the competition.

According to The Athletic, United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has been impressed by Jones since his arrival at the club and was planning to select the defender for Wednesday’s dead rubber at Old Trafford, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

However, Jones was not registered as part of United’s squad for Europe and was therefore unable to feature in midweek. 

The 29-year-old struggled for opportunities under former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with his last first-team appearance coming against Tranmere in January, 2020.

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However, Rangnick is said to have been impressed by Jones in training and has named the defender on the bench for the last two Premier League games against Crystal Palace and Norwich.

According to the report, Jones has asked to play for United’s Premier League 2 side against Chelsea on Friday night in an effort to boost his match fitness and first-team chances.

Jones has not made a first-team appearances for United since January 2020 (Image credit: PA)
Jones has not made a first-team appearances for United since January 2020 (Image credit: PA)
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Jones has already featured for the reserve side three times this season in games against Arsenal, Brighton and his former club Blackburn.

Former England international Jones has struggled for fitness in recent years, with a serious knee injury keeping him out of the side for around 18 months.

Speaking earlier this year, former boss Solskjaer praised Jones’ commitment and defended him from criticism over his lack of first-team football.

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“Phil has had a horrible 18-19 months and probably a year before that as well with injuries,” Solskjaer told the club’s website.

“Phil is a no fuss, get-on-with-it type of guy. I know more than anyone how it feels to be injured at that stage.

“He's still not 30 years of age. Since I came here, he's battled with this knee injury, he's put his body on the line, every single training session, every single game.”

Meanwhile, United have confirmed that Tuesday’s Premier League match against Brentford has been postponed following a coronavirus outbreak at Old Trafford.

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United were forced to shut down their Carrington training base on Monday after a number first-team staff and players returned positive tests.

Rangnick’s side were due to face Brentford in London on Tuesday night but the match was called off late on Monday evening following a request from United.

United's Premier League match against Brentford has been postponed (Image credit: PA)
United's Premier League match against Brentford has been postponed (Image credit: PA)

United released a statement which read: “Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture at Brentford FC, on Tuesday 14 December at 19:30, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.

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“Following PCR confirmation of positive LFT Covid-19 tests among the first-team staff and players, the outbreak requires ongoing surveillance.

"A decision was taken to close first-team operations at the Carrington Training Complex for 24 hours to help minimise risk of further infection, and individuals who tested positive are isolating in line with Premier League protocols.

“Given cancellation of training and disruption to the squad, and with the health of players and staff the priority, the Club requested the match to be rearranged.

"The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone based on guidance from medical advisors.

“Manchester United regrets the inconvenience caused to Brentford FC and to the fans of both clubs by Covid-19.”

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Phil Jones, Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United, Champions League, Premier League, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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