Nemanja Vidic explains why 26-year-old has struggled at Man United

The Manchester United legend opens up about Phil Jones' struggles at Old Trafford

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Man United defender Phil Jones Photo: Phil Jones / Instagram

Nemanja Vidic believes Phil Jones has struggled to shine at Manchester United due to a lack of an experienced centre-half partner.

The Red Devils signed Jones in a £16m deal from Blackburn Rovers in 2010 ahead of interest from their bitter rivals Liverpool FC.

The defender arrived as a teenager with a big reputation and favourable comparisons to some former Manchester United legends, such as Duncan Edwards.

However, Jones has struggled to realise his potential at Manchester United despite Rio Ferdinand and Vidic leaving Old Trafford over five years ago.

The England international has faced speculation surrounding his future given his failure to hold down a regular starting spot under Jose Mourinho.

Jones has started 21 of their 29 games in the Premier League this term but the 26-year-old has faced criticism of his performances.

Former Manchester United captain Vidic believes Jones needed an experienced centre-half partner to nurture the Englishman at Old Trafford.

“It didn’t help them because they didn’t have a more experienced player to pick their brain when they played,” Vidic is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.

“It’s not just about playing together with an experienced player.

“If Phil Jones is 24 and playing alongside someone who is 34, the player who is 34-year-old is using his brain more than the 24-year-old. To rise, he needs to be encouraged a bit and made to feel comfortable in his shoes.”

Manchester United will welcome La Liga side Sevilla in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at Old Trafford on Tuesday night following a goalless draw in Spain last month.

The Red Devils are looking to win the Champions League for the first time since 2008 when Vidic was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s triumphant team.

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