Four options if the New England Revolution decide to replace Jermaine Jones
Jermaine Jones is looking for a lucrative three-year contract to remain a New England Revolution player, one which would take him through his 38th birthday. While he may still have something to offer after his six-game suspension is done, his body may not be able to hold up to three more seasons on the unforgiving artificial turf at Gillette Stadium, particularly given defensive midfield is one of the most physically demanding positions on the pitch. Jones now knows the added rigors of playing in Major League Soccer, with its immense amounts of traveling, rough weather conditions and physical playing style, but that knowledge doesn’t necessarily make those demands any easier to handle.
While I’ve always loved watching Jones’ all-action style, and his position as a US national team star is an obvious draw, there are some better options that the notoriously frugal Revolution could pursue if they don’t improve their offer of an 80% pay cut for Jones. Jermaine isn’t getting any younger, and after last year’s sports hernia surgery ,the combative midfielder is beginning to show his age Jones appeared in only 18 of the Revolution’s 34 regular season games.
One option that’s been rumored is Newcastle United’s Cheick Tiote. At 29, Tiote offers a younger option to Jones, and while he may not be improving at that age, he is a statistical upgrade, averaging 3.1 tackles per game to Jones’s 2.4 over the past two seasons. With a successful pass average of 84.5 to Jones’s 75.6 passes per game since joining MLS. While Tiote may not have the same appeal as the media happy Jones, he is a long standing English Premier League player and Ivory Coast international with some notoriety.
That being said he may not come cheap. Despite having his own injury problems over the past two seasons, Tiote remains an essential squad member for Newcastle, if perhaps not a guaranteed starter. However, if Newcastle are relegated this season — a distinct possibility — a transfer becomes more likely.
Another more audacious possibility is Spanish international Xabi Alonso, whose contract with Bayern Munich ends at the end of the season. With Alonso recently stating he would consider a move to MLS, the Revolution would be wise to consider a move. It would be unlike the Kraft family to spend big on a player, but it remains a slim possibility. With the departure of Jones, it would be a position that needs filling, and Alonso’s signing would represent a major upgrade in terms of quality on the field.