Football

Phil Jones injury leaves Louis van Gaal fearing the worst

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Louis van Gaal has admitted that there is some concern for Phil Jones after the centre-back was forced off after just five minutes against Burnley.

Luckily for Manchester United his replacement Chris Smalling scored twice in the 3-1 win but Jones has been key to their recent upturn in results. Daley Blind was also forced off with an injury in the first half, but Van Gaal admitted that his main concern lies with the centre-back.

While Jones immediately reached for his ankle after landing awkwardly, Van Gaal revealed after the game that it was his knee that may have been injured. Manchester United staff are now anxiously waiting for with scan results to see if any significant damage has been sustained. The Dutchman said he would have answers today.

He told reporters: "Daley Blind has a headache and maybe tomorrow it is better. I don't think Blind will be out for next Monday's game.

"But for Phil Jones, I fear. I don't know. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow."

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The Manchester United is right to be fearful. Jones has been a key figure in the Manchester United defence since he returned from a long-term injury in December. The 22-year-old had sat out two months with shin splints.

A stuttering career

Should he be ruled out for a similar amount of time it will be the latest blow to Jones' career since he joined Manchester United as a highly-rated 19-year-old from Blackburn. It will also be more evidence that Jones is unlikely to become the world-class player everyone at Old Trafford had expected.

Sir Alex Ferguson famously said that Jones had the potential to be Manchester United's greatest player ever. Such comments may have been said with a bit of tongue in cheek, but Jones was at least tipped to be a crucial part of the club's future.

But a number of injuries has limited Jones to just 78 Premier League starts for Manchester United and his development has stalled as a result. While he still has plenty of time to become a very good defender, he has now missed too much playing time to become truly world-class.

Unfortunately, a serious injury would also leave Van Gaal with Smalling, who has proven this season that he is well below the required standards. He may have scored twice last night, but when called to defend, a comical air shot that should have been buried by Burnley proved he is still not up to scratch.

Do you think Phil Jones still has time to become a truly world-class player or is time for Manchester United to start thinking about signing a readymade star? Tell us your views in the comment section below!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Phil Jones
Manchester United

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