Phil Jones and Chris Smalling travel with Manchester United squad for Celta Vigo

by Sam Peoples

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones travelled with Manchester United for Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo.

Both players have been missing for Man United since the last international break and their absence, combined with separate injuries to Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo, has left Jose Mourinho drastically short of centre-backs during a busy April.

So, it’s a welcome boost to Mourinho to finally have some options at the back which means we could see either of them return to action on Thursday.


For me, I’d rather see Jones back in action sooner than Smalling. While Chris was fantastic last year under Louis van Gaal his regression has been severe under Mourinho and Jones has gone the other way, although injuries once again curtailed his progress, so there is hope he can re-find the sort of form he showed in what looked like a decent partnership alongside Rojo.

Mourinho will confirm the fitness of Jones and Smalling in his pre-match press conference at 1800BST but the good news is that they have been deemed fit enough to travel at least. With Arsenal on Sunday, as well as the second leg with Celta Vigo and a trip to White Hart Lane next weekend, Mourinho will be happy at that.

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