Rio Ferdinand has criticised his former teammate Phil Jones for not leaving Manchester United - claiming that he "should’ve gone ages ago".
Jones joined the club from Blackburn Rovers in 2011 and in 2019 he was given a new contract by Old Trafford bosses, reportedly worth £100k per week, that runs until the summer of 2023 with the option of a further year.
The 29-year-old centre-back has not played for United since an FA Cup win against Tranmere Rovers in January 2020, four days after his last league appearance versus Burnley - his 200th Premier League match, and Ferdinand is unhappy that he still at Old Trafford.
"He’s taking up a youth team player’s position in that squad right now," the former United captain told Vibe with FIVE.
"He’s had too many injuries…I was in the same team as Phil Jones, he came from Blackburn as a young kid, everyone was saying he was going to be this great player.
"Huge potential but injuries have absolutely annihilated his career and then confidence issues at certain times as well.
"He’s never been able to fully establish himself in the team. Whether it’s injuries, lack of form, lack of confidence. I think he should’ve gone ages ago.
"He should’ve gone before Chris Smalling went. Find a new club and play some football."
After splashing out £16.5m on Jones ten years ago, then-manager Alex Ferguson claimed that he "could be our best ever player" but he never managed to fulfil the potential that his old boss saw in him back then.
Ferdinand played alongside him for three seasons before he moved on to Queen's Park Rangers and he is amazed by the fact his old centre back partner was given the bumper contract two years ago, accusing him of not putting in the work to earn the new deal.
"He’s lacked consistency throughout his career at Man United. That’s a fact, for all the reasons I stated before," added Ferdinand.
"I am baffled at how he’s still been given a new deal at the club given his past few years at the club. It just doesn’t make sense to me how you get a new deal.
"I remember back in the day you’d have to do some absolute graft to get a new deal. You’d have to be putting in performances, you’d have to be a vital member of the team. Phil Jones isn’t that.
"He’s done well. Listen, good luck to him if you can get it. Staying at Man United is a great gig, but I look at him as a person, are you really going to be happy sitting there all these years.
"I think [Danny] Drinkwater has been the same a little bit [at Chelsea]. It’s quite easy to sit there a little bit, hide behind the curtains.
"To be fair to Phil Jones, I’ve not seen him come out and speak and clarify, he might have had injuries we don’t know about.
"But if he’s been fit and has been sitting there like he has been, sign a new deal and stay and not go out on loan… that’s not what a footballer wants to do.
"There are players who are happy to just sit and clubs and not play and just chill. Winston Bogarde did it at Chelsea for about three or four years. Signed a big deal and commuted in from Holland.
"If I was in the squad with someone like that I wouldn’t talk to them. They are a waste of time, why would I chat to you and give you any energy, taking that away from my other teammates who are here to play and go into battle for 90 minutes every week."