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Team News: 29-year-old Man United star named in UCL squad for the first time in three years

Phil Jones has no clear proposals from prospective suitors.
Phil Jones has no clear proposals from prospective suitors.

Manchester United register Phil Jones in Champions League squad for the knockout rounds

According to Daily Mail Online, Manchester United have registered Phil Jones in their Champions League squad for knockout rounds that are set to take place in the coming weeks. They will be facing off against Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in the round of 16, with the first leg set to take place later this month at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Jones was not included in the squad for the group stages but has now been recalled following the club’s January departures. Man United have officially submitted their player list for the knockout rounds to UEFA recently. As a result, he has put an end to a waiting period of three years to be in contention to feature in the European competition again.

The 29-year-old’s last appearance in the competition was against Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the 2019 edition as the Red Devils lost 3-0 on the night. UEFA permits any club to make up to three changes to their squad submitted for different stages. Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Amad Diallo all left the club on loan last month, paving the way for Jones’s inclusion.

Manchester United register Phil Jones in Champions League squad for the knockout rounds.
Manchester United have included centre-back Phil Jones for the Champions League knockouts. (imago Images)

All three of the Red Devils loanees had featured in the group stages. Fourth-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant also made it into the lineup for the knockout rounds. Regardless of this update, it would be difficult for the English centre-back to break into the starting spot since he is far down the pecking order.

Any chance of featuring?

It is a great sight to see the Red Devils star getting back to being in contention to play in the prestigious competition. Realistically, it is difficult to see him feature against Atletico or potential future opposition due to the players ahead of him in the pecking order. The only reason for his recent appearance against Middlesbrough was down to the lack of options.

Manchester United register Phil Jones in Champions League squad for the knockout rounds. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Phil Jones is in the Man United squad for Champions League knockouts. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly were out with an illness and an injury, respectively, for the FA Cup tie, which resulted in the Englishman getting another chance. He had previously played against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League, where he put in an excellent display.

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Bailly and Lindelof would probably return by the time we face off against Atletico in the first leg of the round of 16. Unless there is a crisis in the centre-back slot, Jones would have it tough to even make it onto the pitch. Time will tell whether he would have an opportunity to feature in any sort of way or not.

Written by Rijo Sam Daniel

A football enthusiast who is madly in love with the game

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