Southampton Interested In Manchester United Veteran
Wednesday, 8th Jun 2022 08:51
According to the rumour mill Saints are joining Fulham & Leeds United in chasing the signing of Manchester United central defender Phil Jones, a name touted about over the last year in connection with a move to St Mary's.
The general feeling amongst Saints supporters is that the club do not sign players over the age of 27, that is not quite true as Theo Walcott joined firstly on loan and then on a permanent deal last summer and he was well into his 30's.
That showed that the club is flexible in it's transfer policy and it is the case of the right player at the right price.
However that has not been the case in the back four where since Jose Fonte left and then Virgil Van Dijk we have lacked leadership, organisation and experience and to be blunt true quality in the centre of defence.
Most of the central defenders that arrived where in their early 20's with little experience and none of them shaped up to be a true leader, Jan Bednarek has become a Premier League quality player but he is not a potential Captain of the side.
Now we have Mohammed Salisu who truly has the qualities to reach the top, however he has no one alongside him to teach him the ropes and if we are not careful he too could lose his way, he needs a mentor to give him that organisation and experience.
The arrival of Sport Direct may signify a slight jiggling of our transfer policy and they may recognise that all sides need that balance.
Now the rumour mill says we are after Phil Jones, a man who at 30 has plenty of experience, but has fallen a little down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
Last season he made just 4 appearances in the Premier League for United totalling 161 minutes, plus just one FA Cup appearance for a further 30 minutes.
Some of this was through injury at the start of the season, but in the second half of the season he was an almost permanent fixture on the United bench in the Premier League, sitting on it 20 times without getting on the pitch.
The previous season was a complete write off
2019/20 was as much a write off and he spent most of it either on the bench of injured, starting just two games .
So it is three years since Jones has played a real part in United's season, although he was fit and ready for much of last.
So with United now ready to offload him with a year left on his contract, several Premier League clubs including Saints, Leeds & Fulham are said to be hovering.
The transfer fee would not be a problem, his value is said to be around the £3.5 million mark and United might also be willing to give a good club servant who has played 169 Premier League games for them over 11 seasons a free transfer so that any buying club could give him a package that would compensate for having to take a drop in his wages.
From a Saints perspective it could be a good signing, Jones in truth might not be the quality of player who flourishes at Old Trafford, but he has enough quality and experience to come in and give the Saints central defence something it has been missing for 5 years now.
Photo: Action Images
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