It’s easy for a fringe player to become forgotten about at a huge club, especially if they struggle for fitness and better players are signed in their position.
Even if Phil Jones was fit just now he would likely be fifth choice at best to play in the centre of Man United’s defence, so his main priority just now appears to be building fitness and getting himself in the shop window for a potential move in January.
The Carabao Cup will likely see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rotate his team as he rests players for the Premier League and the Champions League, while it sounds like Jones has a chance of making a competitive return for United:
OGS confirms to MUTV that Phil Jones back in @ManUtd squad for tomorrow's game. Not played in first team since Tranmere in Jan 2020.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) September 21, 2021
He’s had his injury issues for years but it’s still a surprise to hear that he’s not actually played in a competitive game since January 2020, and it also suggests it might be best to give him a cameo appearance from the bench rather than chucking him in from the start vs West Ham.