By FRANCO PANIZO
Jermaine Jones has found a new home, but it is not in MLS.
Turkish club Besiktas announced on Thursday that Jones has joined the side from German Bundesliga outfit Schalke via a loan for the remainder of the season that comes with an option to buy. Jones will be out of contract at the end of the current campaign, but the loan deal that sees the Black Eagles pay Schalke an estimated $271,000 comes with options that could see him stick with Besiktas permanently through the 2015-16 season.
The move comes a day before the winter transfer window closes and gives the 32-year-old U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder a chance at earning steady minutes ahead of this summer’s World Cup, a tournament he has never played in during his career and is projected to participate in despite the Americans’ deep talent in central midfield.
Jones had been struggling to cement a starting role for Schalke during the first half of the present campaign, making nine starts in 14 appearances and scoring one goal. He was recently left off the roster for the club’s winter camp so as to find a new team to play for, and had been reportedly interested in joining MLS before agreeing to a move with Besiktas.
Whether Jones remains with the Super Lig club beyond this season, his time at Schalke is all but over. Jones finishes a seven-year stint with the German club with 129 Bundesliga appearances, seven league goals and experience playing in the UEFA Champions League.
Jones will now set his sights on making his Besiktas debut, which could come as early as Friday as the club takes on Erciyesspor in a league fixture.
The Black Eagles are currently in fourth place in the Super Lig, just four points shy of second-place Galatasaray and the UEFA Champions League spot they are currently holding.
What do you think of Jones joining Besiktas? Expecting him to do well enough in Turkey that Besiktas exercises their options on him? Would you have preferred MLS to sign him (even at a big DP deal)?
Share your thoughts below.