Mirror:Follow View Profile Rio Ferdinand speaks out after Phil Jones ‘axed’ from Man Utd dressing room

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Erik ten Hag reviews Arsenal win

Rio Ferdinand hopes Phil Jones can reignite his career after Erik ten Hag reportedly axed the Englishman from the Manchester United dressing room.

Jones, 30, has played just five games since January 2020 due a knee injury and is yet to make the matchday squad for any United’s six Premier League games this season. He has just one year remaining on his existing deal, with the option of a further 12 months.

It’s claimed Ten Hag has booted Jones, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Tegen Mendi and Shola Shoretire out of the dressing room to make space for United’s new signings – Tyrell MalaciaChristian EriksenLisandro MartinezCasemiro, Antony and Martin Dubravka.

Ferdinand, who played alongside Jones between August 2011 and May 2014, hopes Jones can play regularly again in the near future – whether that’s at Old Trafford or elsewhere.

“Listen, I’ve got to be honest, I hope it’s not true,” Ferdinand told his Vibe with Five podcast when asked about Jones’ alleged axe. “If it is true, that’s Erik ten Hag laying it out and saying: ‘You’re not a part of my plans, moving forward you’re surplus to requirements’.

“But that’s the game man. If you’re not involved and you’re not part of the first-team going forward, why are you going to be taking up someone else’s space? There might be a young player who Ten Hag wants to come in and gain some experience in the dressing room.

Phil Jones hasn't been involved in Manchester United's six matchday squads this season

Phil Jones hasn’t been involved in Manchester United’s six matchday squads this season© Getty Images

What do you make of Erik ten Hag’s reported decision to axe Phil Jones? Let us know in the comments below!

“We have to wait and see but Phil Jones, if he’s still there but been demoted to the reserves, that’s a hard pill to swallow. He’s suffered some really horrific injuries so I just hope he stays fit and at some point he’ll be able to go out and play somewhere.”

Jones has won the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League during his 11-year spell at Old Trafford, making 229 appearances for the club to date. The 27-cap international started his career at Blackburn before making a big-money move to United.

Speaking 12 months ago, Jones revealed the mental and physical battle he’s endured due to his knee injury. “I’ve been through hell and back over the last couple of years,” he told United’s website. “I struggled with my knee a little bit and (there) came a point after lockdown where I thought enough was enough.

“I kept myself in great shape over lockdown and came back. But I remember just training out here [at Carrington] and going into the doc and saying ‘enough’s enough’. Unfortunately, there was going to be time off the pitch, which I knew was going to be difficult for me, but it was something that I had to do.

“Thankfully, I see the light at the end of the tunnel now and I’ve been back training, played a few behind-closed-doors games and I’m feeling really good at the minute.”

Jones added: “I think as a footballer, as a person, as a human being, that’s the lowest I probably ever felt in my life. You try and get a balance between football and family life but it was so difficult going home and trying to look after the kids. You’re there, but you’re not there, you’re not present. It’s nice to get that balance back.”

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