Phil Jones among five Man Utd players axed from first-team dressing room by Ten Hag

·3-min read
Man Utd player on his future Credit: PA Images
Man Utd player on his future Credit: PA Images

Phil Jones is among five Manchester United players to be axed from the first-team dressing room by Erik ten Hag.

The United boss needed to spurn Jones and four of his young teammates in order to accomodate new signings at Old Trafford, according to The Sun.

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Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Antony and Martin Dubravka all arrived this summer as United spent around £220m – their largest outlay in a single transfer window ever.

The first-team dressing room at the Carrington training ground can only hold 24 players, meaning fringe players have been forced into the U23’s changing area.

Jones, who has made just one appearance for United in two years, is the most senior member of the squad to be shunned, and has been joined by Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Tegen Mengi and Shola Shoretire.

Williams is unlikely to feature signficantly for United this season after the signing, and impressive start, of Malacia at left-back.

And the arrival of Martinez has shoved centre-backs Jones and Tuanzebe – both of whom were hoping to secure a move awat this summer – further down the pecking order.

But the report claims Ten Hag blocked their exits, as well as Williams’, given the current injury problems at the club.

Another United star who failed to get his move this summer is Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ten Hag has explained what he expects of the striker and the nature of their relationship going forward.

“I will be his friend, sometimes I will be his teacher,” Ten Hag said. “It depends on the situation.

“But, as we all know, he didn’t have the pre-season and you cannot miss the pre-season.

“It is a base, especially in the game we play, the way of play. We play another type in comparison with last year.

“It depends on the demands, cooperation and it demands certain positioning, in and out of position, and the other thing is fitness.”

Ronaldo’s long-time Real Madrid team-mate Casemiro could make his first United start on Sunday, when Antony will hope to make his bow after completing his big-money deadline-day move from Ajax.

Eyebrows have been raised at the fee forked out for the 22-year-old, with an initial fee of 95 million euros (£80.6million) potentially increased by further five million euros (£4.2million) in add-ons.

Antony joins former Ajax team-mate Lisandro Martinez and ex-Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia in moving from the Eredivisie, where standout players have not always gone on to shine in the Premier League.

“First the players who we signed are internationals for their countries,” former Ajax boss Ten Hag said.

“They performed really well in the Champions League and thirdly looking at their individual skills they are capable of playing high-intensity football, the players we selected and recruited.”

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