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West Ham could scupper Arsenal sale, world-class ace needs replacing
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Middlesbrough widemanIsaiah Joneshas played his way onto the radar of Premier League clubs West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Southampton, according toTEAMtalk, though Michael Carricks side have no interest in a January sale.
When Djed Spence helped Nottingham Forest secure their long-awaited return to the promised land,before sealing a 20 million move to Tottenham Hotspur,Middlesbrough supporters would have been forgiven for wondering why the former Riverside whizzkid had been loaned out to a direct Championship rival in the first place.
That Spences outstanding form at the City Ground went somewhat under the radar back home at the Riverside, then, speaks volumes about the impact Isaiah Jones made in the 22-year-olds absence.
Weve got Isaiah Jones on the right, team-mateDael Fry saidin May. Whos been fantastic.
The Lambeth-born Jones, who was playing his trade in the Scottish second-tier as recently as 2021, was singled out byThomas Tuchelfollowing a cup clash with Chelsea. Wayne Rooney even altered his tactics in an attempt to restrictthe 23-year-olds influence when Boro took on Derby County(Teesside Live).
Boasting never-ending energy, real skill in one-v-one positions and eye-catching end product; Jones devilish deliveries set up eight goals for his team-mates in 2021/22. And, after overcoming fears of second season syndrome, Jones hasarguably been Middlesbroughs most-improved player since Michael Carrick replaced Chris Wilder in the Riverside dugout; thriving on the right-wing after toiling at wing-back.
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Now, Boro are hoping to do what Forest did last year. Namely, go from relegation candidates to play-off dark horses in the blink of an eye. As such, Carrick has no intention of selling one of his prized assets in January. This hardline stance comes amid increased interest from the Premier League.
Wolves, Leicester City and Southampton are all watching closely (TEAMtalk).As are Crystal Palace and West Ham United; two clubs in pursuit of reinforcements for the right-hand flank. Southampton boss Nathan Jones, meanwhile, came up against his namesake twice last season, when head coach of Luton Town.
The new Saints coach has an impressive track record when it comes to talented young wide players too.Jack Stacey and James Justin secured top-flight moves after working with Jones at Luton.
Were trying to play to Izzys strengths,Carrick says. I think we all know what (Jones) brings to the team, and what he can do. Im encouraging him to be positive and really attack the game. He can bring an awful lot to us, that not many players can.
Were trying to play to his strengths; trying to get him up the pitch where he can cause some problems for the opposition. Im sure theres more to come from him. Hes still young and inexperienced in many ways, and I know that. Im patient in that regard.
But at the same time, I expect a lot of him. I know his potential and what he can do. We want him to be positive, and were really excited to see him perform over the next few weeks.
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