How fans & journalists are reacting to Jones's return
Phil Jones has been widely praised by Manchester United supporters on social media, after the centre-back made his long-awaited return to action following a two-year battle with injury.
With Eric Bailly set to join up with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, Victor Lindelof isolating with COVID-19 and Harry Maguire nursing an injury, Jones was selected to start alongside Raphael Varane on Monday night.
The Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers represented a significant milestone for Phil, whose previous first-team appearance came against Tranmere Rovers in January 2020.
Jones has been working diligently on his fitness for several months and that hard work allowed him to produce an eye-catching performance on what was otherwise a disappointing night for United.
“Phil Jones should be proud of himself,” said Luke Shaw. “I think he’s been criticised for a number of years constantly, people always getting at him but he’s stuck by it, he’s so professional, trains so hard and he got his chance tonight and I think he was phenomenal.”
Highlights from Phil's return to action
Here are five short examples of how well Phil Jones played on his return, against Wolves...
Over on our official Facebook page, fans were quick to praise the 29-year-old’s return to action and how he has overcome the toughest stage of his career so far.
Here is a sample of the comments…
Vanessa Bentley: He was class. Well done Phil Jones, welcome back!
Carl Hermitt: Great to see everyone can appreciate how good he was, because he really was awesome.
Elizabeth Chinwendu Korie: It was a wonderful performance from Phil Jones. Keep it up.
Adam Pemberton: A lot of people laugh and joke about him, but he always gives 100% every time! True professional.
Nixon Chisonga: A good day at the office to Phil Jones. He brought a breath of fresh air to the defence. The combination of Varane and Jones is worth exploring more.
Dean Inglis: I hope he gets a good run in the team after tonight’s performance. Always focused on his job and 100% professional!
Lee Richardson: Best United player on the pitch tonight by far.
Supratik Das: Welcome back. It takes a lot of character to get back to this stage after almost two years and play like this. Inspirational!
PRAISE FROM THE PRESS
Phil's return to action was widely discussed among the reporters covering our match on Monday night, as you can read here...
Good luck to Phil Jones today. Regardless what anyone may make of his quality, a horrible few years through injury and clearly been a mighty battle for him to recover to the point he’s able to start a Premier League game again.— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) January 3, 2022
Think Phil Jones deserves a lot of credit for battling through all the physical and mental issues to get himself in the right state to play tonight. However the game turns out, hope it is a platform to relaunch his career.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 3, 2022
Huge cheer as Phil Jones heads away an early cross. Really hope he does well tonight— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) January 3, 2022
What Phil Jones has been through, mentally and physically, emotionally and personally, to get on that pitch today makes him an absolute champion. All the best to him. The Jones 'jokes' are mindless - and boringly old. When his body is right, he can really play.— Jonathan Northcroft (@JNorthcroft) January 3, 2022
Amazing today. First senior game in nearly two years, and he was United’s outstanding player. Absolutely delighted for him https://t.co/MeoB2JgyeO— Jonathan Shrager (@JonathanShrager) January 3, 2022
Commitment. Proud to see you back on the pitch 🔴 https://t.co/FZnZ8e410l— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) January 4, 2022