Home » Phil Jones refuses to give up number four shirt for Raphael Varane

Phil Jones refuses to give up number four shirt for Raphael Varane

by Harry Henshaw

Manchester United outcast Phil Jones has refused to give up his number four shirt despite it being new signing Raphael Varane’s preference.

According to The MEN, the Frenchman will instead wear number 19 vacated by young winger Amad Diallo, who will take number 16 and is likely to be heading out on loan this summer anyway.

Jones has worn the coveted number four shirt since he signed for the club a decade ago from Blackburn, and is currently enduring one of the toughest spells of his Red’s career.

The centre back hasn’t featured since the 26th of January 2020, scoring United’s fourth goal of a 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere, his first goal in six years.

A persistent knee injury has kept him on the sidelines for 19 months and despite recovering and returning to training the 29-year-old will find it difficult to break into gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team plans.

After Axel Tuanzebe clinched a loan to Aston Villa, Jones now finds himself fifth choice in the centre of defence behind Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

But with two years left on his current deal and a sizeable weekly wage putting off any potential suitors, United may be lumbered with Jones.

United announced Varane to a packed Old Trafford prior to the Leeds game to a rapturous reception, with the defender clutching his new shirt and taking a selfie in the centre of the hallowed turf.

On the signing Solskjaer had the following to say:

“I’m absolutely delighted that we have managed to secure one of the best defenders in the world over the last 10 years.”

“Raphaël is a proven winner who we have tracked over a long period of time, and we know just how much of a dedicated professional he is.”

“We have great depth of international defenders, and he will add his immense skill set and leadership to that group. He is a unique defender with a rare combination of top-level attributes that I know will rub off on our younger players.”

With the defender expected to be available for next weekend’s away trip to Southampton, it will be interesting to see just how big of an impact United’s new number 19 will have on the squad as a whole.

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