Erik ten Hag sends Phil Jones and four others to train with the Manchester United U21 team
Manchester United defender Phil Jones is amongst the five players, including Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe, who have been sent by Erik ten Hag to train with the U21 side, according to The Sun (h/t Express).
Teden Mengi and Shola Shoretire accompany them in the U21s locker room. The new signings this summer have meant the quintet have found themselves training with the reserve side.
United has seen an apparent overhaul of their backline over the years. Jones has missed most of the last two campaigns due to an injury. The 30-year-old made a rare start early in the year as Ralf Rangnick handed him an opportunity.
Jones made his way to the Theatre of Dreams in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers. The centre-back’s style of play usually involved putting his body on the line. The 30-year-old has now fallen out of favour.
United have made a lot of additions to the backline. Harry Maguire made his way to Manchester for big money in 2019. Raphael Varane arrived at United from Real Madrid last summer. And Lisandro Martinez signed for the club during the recent transfer window.
All the options, including Victor Lindelof, seem to be ahead of Jones in the pecking order. Ten Hag has a lot of options to choose from.
At the start of the 2022/23 campaign, Maguire partnered Martinez in the back four. However, the team performed woefully. Since then, the gaffer has opted for the Argentine and Varane in defence.
United have won four games on the trot since the change. The backline has looked solid and Ten Hag evidently has been able to inculcate his ideas.
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It seems like Jones’ career at United is on its final legs. It would be wise for the English defender to look for opportunities elsewhere.