Jose Mourinho told Man United need 25-year-old to win the title

Garth Crooks says Phil Jones is crucial to Manchester United's title bid this season

Man United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: The Sport Review

Garth Crooks has warned Jose Mourinho that Phil Jones needs to stay fit if Manchester United are going to win the title this season.

The Red Devils have made an impressive start to the Premier League campaign following a return of 16 points from their opening six games.

Manchester United were 1-0 winners against Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon to keep their fifth clean sheet of the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Mourinho’s side have the best defensive record alongside Manchester City in the Premier League to underline just how impressive Jones and Eric Bailly have been at centre-half.

The former Blackburn Rovers defender has started all six of Manchester United’s top-flight games so far this season to keep new signing Victor Lindelof out of the team.

Ex-Spurs forward Crooks emphasised the importance of Jones to Manchester United’s hopes of winning the Premier League title this season.

“This was a very solid performance by the entire United back four but on this occasion it was marshalled and led by Phil Jones at the heart of their defence,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“The England international is having a decent run of games at the moment.

“I have already gone on record and said if United are going to win the league title they are going to need a fully fit Jones for much of it.”

Manchester United ended up in sixth place in the Premier League table last season but managed to win the EFL Cup and the Europa League in Mourinho’s first season.

The Red Devils struggled with defensive injuries throughout the 2016-17 season which contributed to their poor league form.

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