Manchester United fans hoping to see Phil Jones back in action before the end of the season could be left disappointed. And, no, he has not suffered another injury.
The centre-back has been recovering from a malleolar (foot) problem since early February and had been pencilled in to return before the conclusion of the campaign. There were even suggestions he could make a late bid for England's Euro 2016 squad.
But while Jones is back on a football field, he has yet to rekindle anything that resembles his best form. The 24-year-old started for United's Under-21 side against Chelsea earlier this month and was criticised for what many considered to be an awful display.
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Now, he has repeated the feat, putting in another questionable display against Southampton where, according to Manchester Evening News reporter Sam Luckhurst, he was “humiliated” by Saints starlet Sam Gallagher in a 2-1 defeat.
Of course, the game was designed as another step in his rehabilitation and the result bears no real importance on the grand scale of Premier League football, but the poor display from the former Blackburn star did not escape the attention of some Red Devils supporters.
They roundly panned Jones for the performance, even demanding his exit in the upcoming summer transfer window. Some of the best reaction is embedded below:
Jones played 76 minutes in the game before being substituted for Demetri Mitchell with the score at 2-0. The England international conceded the definitive free-kick after Gallagher showed him a clean pair of heels. That free-kick led to Paddy McNair's own goal that sealed the tie.
Another bad performance
The performance was a near mimic of his last outing for the Under-21s, a 1-1 draw against Chelsea where, once again, Jones was humbled by one many a year younger than him.
Chelsea starlet Kasey Palmer nutmegged Jones twice during the game and highlights of those incidents were widely circulated on Twitter.