David de Gea’s classy words on Phil Jones after the Man Utd defender’s emotional return
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Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea was full of praise for defender Phil Jones, as the centre-half made his first appearance for the club in almost two years.
It was Jones’ first outing for United since the defender featured in an FA Cup fourth round tie away at Tranmere, where his club were 6-0 winners and Jones grabbed himself a goal, tucking away a tidy finish in the 41st minute.
Sir Alex Ferguson once claimed that Jones had the potential to be the club’s best ever player, but numerous injuries have seen the former Blackburn defender not reach that potential.
Monday’s defeat turned out to be a bitterly disappointing night for the Reds, as they lost courtesy of a 82nd minute strike from Joao Moutinho, but Jones can be proud of his return performance.
A video clip was uploaded to the official Manchester United Twitter account, which showed Jones walking off at full-time in tears, patting the United badge as he was applauded off by fans.
Long-serving keeper De Gea quoted the tweet from United, and said: “Commitment. Proud to see you back on the pitch.”
It wasn’t just the United shot-stopper who took note of Jones’ impressive outing, with interim manager Ralf Rangnick saying: “I think he did well, bearing in mind he hadn’t played for two years at that level.
“You didn’t see that in the game. He played as if he’d played in the last couple of weeks and months. It was definitely not a problem of Phil Jones that we were unable to have full control of the game and win the game at the end.”
Left-back Luke Shaw, was also full of praise for Jones, saying: “One thing I will say is Phil Jones should be proud of himself,” the left-back told Sky Sports.
“He has been criticised for years, and has gone through a lot, but he is so professional and he has trained hard and he was phenomenal. He was exceptional.”