Phil Jones impressed everybody with his comeback match against Wolves. Even despite United’s 1-0 loss, Jones was a rare bright spot.
Expectations were admittedly low, but Jones genuinely was United’s best player on the night.
This was the defender’s first game in 708 days, after a torrid time with injuries which left him considering whether he might have to retire.
Speaking in an interview with The Times earlier this season, Jones laid bare the physical and mental struggle he has endured.
Jones said: “I used to come back [from United’s training ground] and be in bits. My head was an absolute mess. I’d be in tears.”
After the Wolves game there were tears of a different kind. Jones was clearly emotional as he walked off the pitch at the final whistle.
Irrespective of the defeat, it was a big achievement for Jones to come through 90 minutes and he looked good doing so.
United released a video of Jones showing his respect for supporters as he came off, thanking them for the support during the game.
Jones will give his all
Jones is under contract until the end of the season, and when it comes to plotting his next move, there could be numerous inquiries for him over the month ahead.
Earlier this week we wrote how a return to former club Blackburn could be an ideal landing spot for him, with Rovers flying high in the Championship.
While Jones is a United player, he will do what is asked of him. He told The Times: “I’ll fight for United until someone tells me, ‘Go somewhere else.’”
Jones is technically entitled to a testimonial after 10 years at the club, but The Mirror reported he rejected the chance to have one as he feared nobody would turn up.
Whatever happens next, there is a lot more goodwill towards Jones from United fans after his committed comeback performance on Monday night, and he might just get that testimonial one day after all.
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