Phil Jones is currently available as a free agent and Everton should consider offering him a contract.

Phil Jones left Manchester United upon the expiry of his contract at the end of last season, after twelve seasons at Old Trafford. In his time with the Red Devils, Jones made 229 appearances for the club, and was part of the 2013 Premier League title-winning side.

However, the 31-year-old defender has made just five senior appearances for the club in all competitions over the course of the last three seasons. He didn’t feature at all last season, as injuries have continued to ravage his career.

Jones has been suffering with a serious knee injury which has largely kept him out of contention for the past few years. At one stage, he admitted to the official Manchester United website, he even wondered if he would ever play again.

When fit and at his best, he is a quality player. Former Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also previously praised his mentality, calling Jones a “no fuss” professional, as quoted by The Mirror.

Now, the 27-cap England international is without a club and in need of a lifeline to keep his playing career alive. Everton should consider offering Jones that helping hand, as long as the player is willing to join the club on certain conditions.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

How Everton can make Jones deal work for them

Given the precarious financial situation at Goodison Park, Sean Dyche can’t afford to hand out a standard contract to a player as injury-prone as Jones. However, there are alternative options that the Toffees boss might consider.

‘Pay-as-you-play’ contracts are a rarity in the Premier League, but there has been a precedent for them being offered to injury-prone players before. Essentially, this type of contract means a player is only paid a wage on occasions that they actually play for the club.

As reported by The Express, Manchester United themselves offered such a contract to Owen Hargreaves in 2011.

The Express also stated in 2015 that Arsene Wenger was willing to give a pay-as-you-play deal to Abou Diaby. Both were players with significant injury issues, but whose talent made them obvious first team contenders when fully fit. 

Everton may well feel that Jones falls into a similar category. They are short on quality defensive strength in depth, and offering the centre-back terms of this nature would represent little risk to the club. Dyche has already stated that he is seeking value in the free agent market, and this could be the ideal solution for him.

If Jones is open to such a deal and can then get fit and ready to play Premier League football, he could prove to be a real asset at the back for Everton.

Related Topics