Oh, mother of god, here we go again.
Phil Jones has been Manchester United’s best defender this season. As per the rules of the infamous Phil Jones Boom/Bust Cycle, Phil Jones has now followed up that impressive form with a series of injuries. The latest - on international duty, of course - came on Friday. Jones limped off after just 24 minutes of England’s friendly draw against Germany, and has now returned to Manchester United’s Carrington training facility for treatment.
Why was Phil Jones - currently the best English center half in the premier league, notoriously injury-prone, and already just barely recovered from an injury suffered against Huddersfield - starting in a pointless friendly? Surely, the fact that Jones was required to play with a strapped up thigh should have been enough of a warning sign to forego risking him on Friday. But alas, it was apparently important for England manager Gareth Southgate to get a closer look at how Jones would fit in alongside the likes of, err, Jake Livermore (?), and now our Phil is hobbled yet again.
There has been no word on the exact details on the injury, and Southgate said at the time that he didn’t expect that it was serious. Still, Jones playing with a series of knocks and niggles is a recipe for potential disaster. His importance is even greater given that Eric Bailly is quietly having a subpar second season at United, and that Victor Lindelöf is possibly some kind of ponzi scheme.