Manchester United have announced that defender Phil Jones will depart the club after 12 years.
United disclosed this in a statement released on Friday, May 19.
“Phil Jones is to leave Manchester United when his contract expires in the summer.
“The central defender joined the club in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers and won the league in the following season (2012/13), Sir Alex Ferguson’s final campaign in charge.
“The 31-year-old, who has been capped 27 times by England, made 229 appearances for the Reds and scored six goals.
“With his final outing coming in a 3-0 win over Brentford at the end of last season, as a substitute for Juan Mata, he has been sidelined throughout 2022/23, despite incredible efforts, on his part, to regain fitness.
“It has been a frustrating time for Jones, who is looking to the future and a new chapter, while being extremely grateful for the support of his family and the club’s fans over this grueling period.”
Speaking on his exit from United, Jones told the club’s media: “It’s been very difficult, the last couple of years. There’s no denying that. There is no hiding away from that. My family have been absolutely instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow and keeping me focused, to try to get fit and try to play more.
“And, you know, I’ve missed playing football. I missed it. You grow up playing football and all you want to do is play football. It’s all I’ve known, from such a young age, is to do what you love doing for a living. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that, albeit not as much as I would have liked.
“I’ve worked tirelessly hard,” he admitted. “I literally left no stone unturned. I tried to get back as quick as I could, every time I was out in the last couple of years. I think the highlight for me would have to be the Wolves game [his return from injury last season], when I came back. That was just a moment that I’ll never forget. It gives me goosebumps now, thinking about it. I mean I worked so, so hard to get to that stage of fitness.
“That was a huge, huge moment in my career and the fans, that day, were incredible. The love that they showed me for that game, the passion that they showed, was sensational. And I can’t thank them enough for that. They’ve been a constant support throughout my time here.”
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