The news of Phil Jones signing a new four-year contract extension on Friday surprised most Manchester United fans around the world. The central defender put pen on paper and extended his stay at Old Trafford till 2023.
Brought in by the great Sir Alex Ferguson from Blackburn in 2011, Jones has stagnated during his time at Manchester United. He has offered precious little for managers to pick him and therefore, has lost his place in the side on numerous occasions.
However, giving Jones the new contract extension is not all that meets the eye and there are some benefits that can arise out of it. We attempt to figure out the reasons why offering him the extension was, in fact, a good idea by Ed Woodward and Co.
It increases his market value during the summer transfer window
By signing the new contract extension, Phil Jones's value will increase which will make it easier for Manchester United if they want to sell him in the summer transfer window.
It would be much simpler to get some value for Jones rather than let him go for free in the summer when United would want to offload some of their deadwood players and add Kalidou Koulibaly or Milan Skriniar to their ranks.
Jones is still a good back-up central defending option
While Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling hold the central defenders' positions in the Manchester United first team, any time that they need to rest and rotated, Phil Jones offers manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a good back-up option. Although he had lost his place in the side completely under Jose Mourinho, he has been in and out of it under the Norwegian.
Jones, although neither technically gifted nor strong enough to hold his own at centre-half, can actually be a good option in the cup and second-tier matches.
It can motivate him to improve himself
Exactly a day after signing the new contract extension, Jones put up an inspired performance in United's 3-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Not only did he keep a clean sheet partnering Eric Bailly in the centre-half position, but he also provided the assist to Anthony Martial's wondergoal which took United to 2-0.
This is enough proof to suggest that the new contract may well inspire Jones to get better and improve on his technical deficiencies.
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