He also addressed the war of words he and Jones had last year.
Rio Ferdinand was clearly impressed with Phil Jones’ performance against Wolves on Monday evening.
Jones played his first game for Manchester United since January of 2020, and hardly put a foot wrong throughout the 90 minutes.
While many were shocked that Ralf Rangnick selected him for the game, his decision was justified by Jones’ performance, despite the loss.
Former United captain Ferdinand spoke highly of Jones after the game, just months after the two had quite a public war of words.
Rio Ferdinand on Phil Jones
“For someone to come in from the cold like that, you have to tip your hat to someone like that,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five Youtube channel.
“They’re playing him maybe to put him in the shop window, first and foremost, but if he plays well enough the manager might change his mind. That can happen in football very quickly.
“I’m just pleased he got through the game unscathed, no injuries.
“He put in a decent performance after such a long time out, not easy to do. So you’ve got to tilt your hat to Phil Jones.”
He continued: “He’s come in for a lot of stick, a lot of my words have been misinterpreted a little bit. But you’ve got to say well done in terms of the amount of time he’s been off the pitch, to come in and play in the Premier League and play at the standard he did today.”
Rio Ferdinand vs Phil Jones
Ferdinand’s final comments about his words being “misinterpreted” were in reference to statements he made last year, where he said that Jones was taking a youth team players’ place in the dressing room.
He said: “I wouldn’t talk to those people. If I was in a squad with someone like that, I’m not talking to them. They’re a waste of time.
“Why am I chatting to you and giving you any energy? Taking that away from my other teammates who are here to play and go into battle for 90 minutes every week.”
Jones then hit back at Ferdinand in an emotional interview where he detailed the level abuse he has received.