Manchester United have been handed a fresh injury blow as Raphael Varane left the field prematurely for France, but it may give a fresh opportunity to a forgotten man
Manchester United have suffered a major dip in form over the past month, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have only won two out of their last six games in all competitions.
To make matters worse for the under fire United boss, Raphael Varane limped off as France beat Spain 2-1 in the Nations League final, as he became the latest addition to a growing injury list.
Club captain Harry Maguire is also out with injury, meaning that Solskjaer could be without his two first choice centre backs, with an away trip to Leicester on the horizon.
However, the injuries does offer opportunity to other United stars, and the clubs ‘forgotten man’ could return to the side.
Phil Jones is still within the United set up, and is one of the few members of Solskjaer’s squad that has tasted Premier League title success while at Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old has seen his United career plagued with injuries, as Jones’ recent experience has been quite the opposite from the heights that he reached under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Englishman could be given a golden opportunity to revive his career, and although Jones hasn’t had any recent game time outside of a few behind closed doors friendlies, he has bags of experience that only Varane can mirror at the back.
Jones opened up about his struggles in a recent podcast conducted with the club, and even admitted that he had to take a step back from social media to avoid the harsh criticism he was receiving during a “difficult” time.
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Jones said: “Difficult, very difficult. I mean, I stepped away from social media a long time ago but it’s difficult because all your friends read it, your family read it and they support you, they want the best for you.
“They don’t want to see their mate, their husband, their dad getting slaughtered all over the papers or all over the media, so it’s tough because mentally I was going through a tough time and to read stuff as well.”
“I always say that footballers don’t have a voice, your voice comes when you finish playing football and no-one really cares anymore.
“So, it’s difficult but it’s something I’ve learned to deal with, especially over the time I’ve been at United and the more experience you get, the older you get, the better you learn to deal with those things.
“I suppose for young players coming into the game now, not just at Man United, but all over the world, it’s a very hostile, toxic place to come into and they’ve got to be able to deal with that mentally as well as physically.”
Jones may get the chance to hit back at his critics sooner than initially expected, as he eagerly awaits his chance.