Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has apologised after Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called him for an unfair criticism of Manchester United centre-back Phil Jones.
In an interview quoted by the Daily Mirror, Rio Ferdinand said: “The one area where I would apologise to Phil Jones and anyone at Manchester United who has been a part of his journey.
“From speaking to people behind the scenes last week, he’s had real issues with injuries. To the extent that Bruno Fernandes only trained with him for the first time last week – so that tells you how long he’s been injured.
“So I didn’t know that, that’s not been communicated to the public. So from that standpoint, for someone who’s been injured, knowing what that does to you from a mental point of view, I hold my hands up and I apologise.”
What did Ferdinand say previously about Phil Jones?
“He’s taking up a youth team player’s position in that squad right now,” Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE.
“He’s had too many injuries… I was in the same team as Phil Jones, he came from Blackburn as a young kid, everyone was saying he was going to be this great player.
“Huge potential but injuries have absolutely annihilated his career and then confidence issues at certain times as well.
“He’s never been able to fully establish himself in the team. Whether it’s injuries, lack of form, lack of confidence.
“I think he should’ve gone ages ago. He should’ve gone before Chris Smalling went. Find a new club and play some football.
“He’s lacked consistency throughout his career at Man United. That’s a fact, for all the reasons I stated before.
“I am baffled at how he’s still been given a new deal at the club given his past few years at the club. It just doesn’t make sense to me how you get a new deal.
“I remember back in the day you’d have to do some absolute graft to get a new deal. You’d have to be putting in performances, you’d have to be a vital member of the team. Phil Jones isn’t that.
“He’s done well. Listen, good luck to him if you can get it. Staying at Man United is a great gig, but I look at him as a person, are you really going to be happy sitting there all these years.
“I think [Danny] Drinkwater has been the same a little bit [at Chelsea]. It’s quite easy to sit there a little bit, hide behind the curtains.
“To be fair to Phil Jones, I’ve not seen him come out and speak and clarify, he might have had injuries we don’t know about. But if he’s been fit and has been sitting there like he has been, sign a new deal and stay and not go out on loan… that’s not what a footballer wants to do.
“There are players who are happy to just sit and clubs and not play and just chill. Winston Bogarde did it at Chelsea for about three or four years. Signed a big deal and commuted in from Holland.
“If I was in the squad with someone like that I wouldn’t talk to them. They are a waste of time, why would I chat to you and give you any energy, taking that away from my other teammates who are here to play and go into battle for 90 minutes every week.”