Manchester United have a lot of centre-backs. So many, in fact, that Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo were sent on loan this season.
In truth, Phil Jones should have been the first out the door. Instead, while Smalling excelled at Roma, the 28-year-old managed just eight United appearances in all competitions.
A lot has happened since Jones signed for United for £17million (BBC). In those 10 years, he has only shown glimpses of the raw talent that prompted such an outlay. And the time has surely come for a new challenge elsewhere.
While Jones has not started much under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he has often been on the bench. That position should now be given to a youngster with the world at his feet.
While much has been made of Axel Tuanzebe’s talent, less has been said about an equally impressive centre-back. Teden Mengi is only 18 but he is making considerable waves at United.
In fact, United under-23 boss Neil Wood thinks Mengi could be the next to break through.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Wood said, ‘Teden has been fantastic. The goal is to try to get him pushed up into that first-team if we can.”
Under Solskjaer, that is a very distinct possibility. After all, few outside Old Trafford had heard of Brandon Williams this time last year and now he is a United regular.
Jones has been in a United match-day squad 24 times so far this season. Next time round, Mengi deserves his shot.
Tuanzebe will feature more having returned from injury but Mengi should leapfrog Jones in the pecking order. To overlook such a talent in favour of a man whose time as a United star has passed would be foolish in the extreme.