Why Phil Jones is not included on Manchester United's squad list in programme
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Manchester United defender Phil Jones is not on the club's squad list in the official programme despite still being contracted.
Jones has been a United player for over a decade now having joined from Blackburn in 2011 for a fee of £16 million.
But in recent years he has barely played due to persistent knee problems.
He went nearly two years without making an appearance before playing 90 minutes in United's 1-0 defeat at home to Wolves in January 2022.
Jones played well and fought back tears as United supporters chanted his name. He went on to play a further three times, including a surprise start against Liverpool, but has stunted again and not featured at all this term under Erik ten Hag, who he says he has not even been available to train since he took the reins in June.
"For the whole season he's injured. I can't say [if Jones will play again this season]," Ten Hag said in a recent press conference.
"What I can say is that he's not available for training since the first day of training this season so I think there's not an opportunity for you to recover quickly and be available quickly."
Omitted from both the Premier League and Europa League squads in September, Jones' name and number does not even feature on the programmes sold at Old Trafford for home games.
Jones' name was present in the first four games at the Theatre of Dreams but as per the Manchester Evening News, the last inclusion was the 1-0 win over Omonia Nicosia in October.
No.1 David de Gea is at the top of the list, with No.2 Victor Lindelof just below. Jones, who wears No.4, has therefore been left out as captain Harry Maguire is the next to have his name printed.
Not something one’s been searching for but Phil Jones not listed on the #mufc squad sheet on the back of the programme tonight or on Saturday, as pointed out by @TyMarshall_MEN. Not sure if he was omitted for last home league game vs City pic.twitter.com/9UeDDoff4t— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 1, 2023
Sir Alex Ferguson once tipped Jones to become United's "best ever player" but he has now almost definitely played his final game for the club, with his contract due to expire in the summer.
He would technically be in line for a testimonial after penning a four-year deal in 2019 but infamously joked only his parents would turn up.
Jones has regularly been the butt of the jokes on social media but hit back in an interview in September 2021 and said he couldn't care less.
He told The Times: “I must be an easy target. Every footballer has a tag and unfortunately mine is, ‘Let’s have a laugh at him.’
“But -- and I say this in the nicest possible way -- I know who’ll have the last laugh.
"I’m proud of my career and when it finishes and I’m enjoying my life -- and by the way I’m super fortunate that I’ll be able to do that, because footballers are fortunate -- [the keyboard warriors] will still be in their mum’s spare bedroom, sipping Diet Pepsi that’s flat, eating a Pot Noodle, sitting in their boxers, tweeting.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Phil Jones, Manchester United, Premier League, Erik Ten Hag