‘I think he overstepped the line’: Trevor Sinclair SLAMS Rio Ferdinand for calling injury-hit Phil Jones a ‘waste of time’ at Manchester United after ex-Red Devils defender told his former team-mate to ‘find a new club’
- Rio Ferdinand ordered ‘waste of time’ Phil Jones to leave Manchester United
- Jones has spent the last 19 months on the injury table with a knee problem
- United now have five centre-backs following Raphael Varane’s arrival from Spain
- Trevor Sinclair claims Ferdinand ‘overstepped the line’ in his Jones comments
Trevor Sinclair has hit out at Rio Ferdinand for ordering injury-hit Manchester United defender Phil Jones to ‘find a new club’ as he is a ‘waste of time’ at Old Trafford.
Jones has suffered a nightmare few years on the injury table and played for the first time in 19 months in a behind-closed doors friendly against Burnley last week. The centre-back has two years left on his deal from the four-year contract extension he signed in 2019.
Ferdinand claimed the 29-year-old is taking an academy player’s spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad and slammed the club and the defender for signing the new deal, with Sinclair claiming the ex-United defender went ‘over the line’ with his comments.
Trevor Sinclair (left) has slammed Rio Ferdinand (right) for his comments about Phil Jones
Ferdinand (right) called former team-mates Jones (left) a ‘waste of time’ at Manchester United
Sinclair told talkSPORT: ‘Of course he (Jones) is going to accept (the new contract). He probably has aspirations of getting into the first team.
‘I look at Phil Jones I see a player that has been crippled with injuries over the years, all different kind of injuries as well.
‘I don’t see a bad egg, I look at him, I think he looks like a good pro, he’s not going to cause lots of problems, he’s got a family, he’s got kids, he needs to try and maximise the amount of finance he earns in his career.
‘Why would he turn down a contract of Mancheter United? I think the only people that need to be criticised are the people that offered him the contract because it has not worked out again.
Jones has spent the last 19 months recovering from injury but returned in a friendly last week
‘For Rio to come out and criticise him and say he should leave the club and he’s holding down an academy player’s opportunity to go into the first team, I’m not happy with Rio about that, I think he stepped over the line for me.’
Jones has two years left on his £130,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford and is keen to rebuild his United career. Despite spending most of his United career on the injury table, the Red Devils hierarchy offered Jones a four-year contract extension in 2019, which keeps him tied to Old Trafford until 2023.
However, his chances of regaining a regular starting spot are slim after the £42million arrival of Raphael Varane and Ferdinand has called time on his former team-mate’s Old Trafford stay.
Ferdinand claimed Jones was taking up an academy player’s spot in the United first-team
Ferdinand claimed Jones’s exit was long overdue and believes the defender should have been offloaded before Chris Smalling left for Roma in 2019.
‘He’s taking up a youth team player’s position in that squad right now,’ Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE.
‘He’s had too many injuries… I was in the same team as Phil Jones, he came from Blackburn as a young kid, everyone was saying he was going to be this great player.
Jones has not played for United since the 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere at the start of 2020
‘Huge potential but injuries have absolutely annihilated his career and then confidence issues at certain times as well.
‘He’s never been able to fully establish himself in the team. Whether it’s injuries, lack of form, lack of confidence. I think he should’ve gone ages ago. He should’ve gone before Chris Smalling went. Find a new club and play some football.’
Ferdinand added: ‘He’s lacked consistency throughout his career at Man United. That’s a fact, for all the reasons I stated before.
Sinclair (left) hit out at Ferdinand (right) for his comments about Jones’ four-year deal in 2019
‘I am baffled at how he’s still been given a new deal at the club given his past few years at the club. It just doesn’t make sense to me how you get a new deal.
‘I remember back in the day you’d have to do some absolute graft to get a new deal. You’d have to be putting in performances, you’d have to be a vital member of the team. Phil Jones isn’t that.
‘He’s done well. Listen, good luck to him if you can get it. Staying at Man United is a great gig, but I look at him as a person, are you really going to be happy sitting there all these year?
The defender (left) has played just 224 times, spending most of his United career injured
‘I think [Danny] Drinkwater has been the same a little bit [at Chelsea]. It’s quite easy to sit there a little bit, hide behind the curtains.
‘To be fair to Phil Jones, I’ve not seen him come out and speak and clarify, he might have had injuries we don’t know about. But if he’s been fit and has been sitting there like he has been, sign a new deal and stay and not go out on loan… that’s not what a footballer wants to do.
‘There are players who are happy to just sit and clubs and not play and just chill. Winston Bogarde did it at Chelsea for about three or four years. Signed a big deal and commuted in from Holland.
‘If I was in the squad with someone like that I wouldn’t talk to them. They are a waste of time, why would I chat to you and give you any energy, taking that away from my other team-mates who are here to play and go into battle for 90 minutes every week.’
Sportsmail revealed this month that United boss Solskjaer plans to use Jones as one of five centre-backs following the signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid for £38.5million.
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