Ever since the end of the 2014 World Cup US National Team midfielder Jermaine Jones has made it known (quite publicly) that he is interested in a move Major League Soccer. Linked to LA originally, the Chicago Fire have been most active and vocal in their pursuit of the 32 year-old Jones with suspected contract amounts ranging from $4 to $8 million dollars, thus commanding a designated player (DP) slot. He would arrive to MLS on a free transfer.
Any one with a pulse who watched the World Cup knows that Jermaine Jones a monstrous presence in the midfield that provides class with bite. His curling strike against Portugal is the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing before I go to bed. With Andy Dorman going down to injury and leaving no real sizable alternative at defensive midfield, Jermaine Jones possibly coming to New England would be the perfect remedy for many of this club's ills. But I mean c'mon, we don't spend that kind of money here...so it's irrelevant, right?
It got relevant yesterday.
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) August 8, 2014
This "approval" was later clarified and confirmed by Kyle McCarthy and he then tweeted a statement from New England Revolution GM Mike Burns.
Burns: "We've received approval from our ownership to pursue Jermaine. We're interested in Jermaine and we've been in contact with MLS."— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) August 8, 2014
This obviously leads to some interesting questions on how the newly reorganized front office works. Above what dollar amount requires Kraft approval? How often have they requested to spend such money and been turned down? What makes Bob Kraft or Jon Kraft say yes or no to these requests?
Earlier this year in an interview with New England Soccer Journal Jon Kraft stated that any potential DP signing would have to "move the needle".
"If there was a global name at the Beckham level that wanted to play in this market, we would talk to him seriously about doing it because he would obviously move the needle..."
Personally I see this as a flawed strategy as it's completely reactive in a competitive landscape that rewards the proactive. Waiting around for someone to want to play in a football stadium, on turf in a home not bearing the clubs name is a method that has surely caused widespread neck pain in New England as we all collectively shake our heads. Ideally Mr. Kraft would create and foster an environment that attracts those who would move his needle.
Granted this interview was given in January/February before the American soccer landscape was changed by the 2014 World Cup and not in the context of a USMNT player being available for a position you sorely need while losing 9 of the last 10 matches. Perhaps they see Jermaine Jones as that marketable name who can instantly create an impact on and off the field for the Revs.
A stable and capable presence in the center of the park can potentially improve play all over the pitch. But could this all just be good PR to say hey we're interested and trying even with no real expectation that Jermaine Jones would play in New England to show activity in an otherwise silent Summer transfer window?
What do you think? Is Jermaine Jones the best available option in this market? Is he capable of instantly impacting performance on field and grabbing some attention off the field? Is it worth possibly overpaying for a 32 year old star for this?
Stay tuned to @TheBentMusket for updates.