Phil Jones felt he was ‘letting people down’ during Manchester United injury woes as summer exit confirmed
Phil Jones admitted he felt like he was “letting people down” during spells of his Manchester United career, as it was confirmed he will leave the club in the summer.
The 31-year-old arrived at Old Trafford in 2011 after leaving Blackburn, and was part of the squad that won the Premier League title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge of United.
Jones’ 229th, and ultimately final, appearance for the club came last season against Brentford, with injury problems keeping him out for the entirety of this campaign.
That has been a painfully familiar theme in recent years and Jones will not get the chance to add to his tally, with the centre-back, whose contract expires this summer, looking back on his struggles in an emotional statement.
“To wear this shirt just once, to wear this badge and represent everyone associated with it, was an honour,” Jones wrote.
“I wish I could have played more. I wish I could have given more to the many squads I played alongside. I will say, from the bottom of my heart, I did everything I could. I did everything the medical team asked of me.”
He added: “I’ve said before that I found it hard to even speak to me team-mates because I was hurt that I couldn’t help them. I was hurt that my family couldn’t see me on matchdays, and you feel like you’re letting people down.”
Jones made 27 appearances for England, and won the FA Cup and the Europa League as a United player to go with his Premier League winners’ medal.
Letter to the fans. pic.twitter.com/fmNV1eR9np
— Phil Jones (@PhilJones4) May 19, 2023
The defender will take some time before making a decision on his next move, but insisted that he will reflect on his 12-year spell at Old Trafford with huge pride rather than regret.
“I live a dream at the biggest club in the world. I played for England in major tournaments,” Jones continued. “At United, I won trophies, most notably the Premier League under Sir Alex, in his final season.
“It’s not a time to be said. It’s a time to look back, for me and my family, and be happy that I managed to live a dream at United. I can always say to my family and friends that not many people get to play for this club, to always be in its history and to be able to look back with such happy memories.”