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When Phil Jones signed for Manchester United at the end of the 2010 – 2011 Premier league season, he was a young defensive midfielder who had proved extremely versatile in a highly impressive season in an otherwise unimpressive Blackburn team.
Sir Alex Ferguson had just led Manchester United to history making 19th league title and had done so despite a number of issues in the United defense throughout the season. Phil Jones was brought in from Blackburn and it became immediately clear that Sir Alex saw his future in the heart of the United defense.
The injury setback for Phil Jones will come as a real shock for United fans as they have been far from their best in the first 3 weeks of the season. The last thing the fans want to hear is that they have more problems in the defense. Phil Jones has been very consistent in his 41 appearances for United and will be sorely missed.
On the positive side for United, Ferdinand and Vidic are both fit although neither look to be playing at their best.
Ferdinand has been plagued with injuries that have stopped him from playing consistently and Vidic needs more time to recover fully from the nasty injury he suffered last november that put him out for the whole season. United do however, have Jonny Evans back in the team. Evans was superb for United last season and really helped to offset the damage of the injury to captain Nemanja Vidic.
The biggest issue I see with the 2 month injury to Phil Jones will be fatigue to the centre backs. United need to keep up impressive performances in the league to take the fight to City and show intent to get the league title back but they will also need to play good football in the Champions League group stages, they will need to be convincing after the poor performances that saw United fail to make the knockout stages last season and with Jones out, Fergie won’t have the depth to rotate the defense as much as he would like for these games. Simply one injury to another defender could see United in a spot of bother, if Rio Ferdinand for example was to pick up another knock then it would leave United seriously short in defense.
All this therefore goes to show the importance of Phil Jones to the United squad. He’s a versatile player who can play anywhere in defense and also in midfield and won’t look out of place doing so. Sir Alex will be hoping to get him back playing as soon as possible to sure-up a squad that has leaked too many goals so far this season.
Written by Ryan McDowell
Follow him on Twitter @dowelly_
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