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‘This should be one that Derby and Boro avoid at all costs’ – Man United player linked with EFL duo set for exit: The verdict

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will reportedly look to sell Phil Jones in January, which could be of interest to Derby County and Middlesbrough.

Both clubs were linked with the centre-back at the end of October and, according to a report from the Mirror, it seems they may have a chance to get their man in the winter window.

But which club would be the best fit? And will he be willing to drop down to the Championship?

We asked our FLW writers for their thoughts…

Alfie Burns 

I’m really not sure that the EFL is the right move for him.

The centre-back has had a tough time of it and he’s become a little bit of a reference point for trolls on social media.

That’s moved attention away from actually how good he has been in the past.

He’s had his issues, but he’s still got ability and the Championship does feel a level below him.

I think if you look at how a similar centre-back in Chris Smalling has reinvented himself in Serie A, surely a move like that would appeal to Jones more?

A move out of Manchester is needed, but the EFL just doesn’t feel right.

George Harbey

This should be one that Derby and Boro avoid at all costs in my opinion.

Not only is Jones bound to be on very high wages, but he hasn’t exactly played his best football for Man United in recent seasons, and he has made a host of defensive errors.

It would be a risk financially given that he is bound to be on a hefty wage packet, and you’d suspect that his arrival would take a large chunk out of the respective clubs’ budgets next season.

I can’t see him moving down to the Championship, either. He will still have aspirations of playing at the top-flight and return to the England set-up, but those chances could decrease if he dropped down.

Derby like to play out from the back, whilst Neil Warnock likes his defenders to head and kick the ball away. I think he’d be a better fit at Boro.

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Jacob Potter

I’d be surprised if he was willing to drop down to the Championship.

Jones has played the last few years in the Premier League, and it’s unfortunate that he’s fallen down the pecking order at Manchester United.

He’s a player that I think is good enough to still do a steady job in the top-flight, so I’d be stunned if dropped into the second-tier anytime soon.

He’s still 28, so he’ll still feel as though he has time on his side when it comes to playing his football in the Premier League.

Jones’ wages would have been a concern for me for a Championship club, but given that Derby are set to be taken over, you would imagine they’ll try and tempt the Red Devils defender with an offer in the future.

He’s too good to be playing in the Championship at this stage of his career, and it would be a real coup if a club in the EFL were able to secure a deal to sign him.


Bristol-born, London-based sports journalist at Snack Media. University of Brighton and NA graduate

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘This should be one that Derby and Boro avoid at all costs’ – Man United player linked with EFL duo set for exit: The verdict

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