Manchester United’s forgotten defender, Phil Jones, could be thrown back into the first-team fold should Victor Lindelof keep underperforming, that is according to the Manchester Evening News.
United spent big on defensive reinforcements this summer, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka joining from Crystal Palace for £50m and Harry Maguire signing for £80m from Leicester City in a world-record deal for a defender.
However, so far this season the Red Devils have managed to keep just one clean sheet against Chelsea on the season’s opening weekend. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have shipped four goals in their previous three games against Wolves, Crystal Palace and Southampton.
The performances of Sweden international Victor Lindelof have particularly come into question in recent weeks, especially after the 25-year-old was convincingly beaten in the air by Jannik Vestergaard at St Mary’s on Saturday. The towering Dane rose above Lindelof with ease and nodded home from close range, in turn rescuing a point for the hosts after they had trailed United for the majority the game.
At 6ft 6, justifications can be made for Lindelof losing out to Vestergaard on Saturday; the problem is, it’s happening far too often this season.
Against Palace a fortnight ago, as highlighted by the MEN, the Swede was again at fault for the Eagles’ opener after he failed to deal with an aerial ball, losing out to the 5ft 10 Jeffrey Schlupp, who simply flicked it onto Jordan Ayew who then found the back of the net with a well-taken finish.
Now, should Lindelof continue to struggle, outcast Phil Jones could well be drafted in by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The England international is yet to feature for United this season but has been kept on as cover at Old Trafford, with Solskjaer instead sending Chris Smalling out on loan to AS Roma.
With United struggling to keep a clean sheet and only registering one win so far, maybe giving someone else a chance at the back wouldn’t be a bad option.
Jones can’t prove he is of use if he is never given a chance, and considering he actually has better stats than Lindelof in terms of aerial duals won and interceptions over the past 12 months, Solskjaer should perhaps consider a shake up at the back and see how it works out for his new-look side.
United fans, do you think Phil Jones deserves a chance? Let us know in the comments!
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