13014_jonesjermaine_isi_usmntjt0605132507 John Todd/isiphotos.com
Transfer Analysis

Jermaine Jones to Turkey: What Does it All Mean?

Brian Sciaretta breaks down the midfielder's loan to Besiktas. Good move? Bad move? Just another move? Read his take then let us know how you feel about the German-American's decision.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
January 30, 2014
2:20 PM
BESIKTAS TO THE RESCUE: Jermaine Jones demanded a transfer earlier this month and Schalke acquiesced by loaning the 32-year-old midfielder to the Turkish club. The move expires this summer, as does his contract with Schalke.

Although Americans making moves isn't new, this one is significant because it involves a player who has been a first-choice starter throughout World Cup qualifying. Jones has had his eye on the World Cup ever since 2009 when he took advantage of a rule change by FIFA and made the decision leave the German setup for the United States. Injuries forced him out of the 2010 tournament, leaving Brazil as likely his only World Cup opportunity. So here we are, less than five months until Jurgen Klinsmann’s group opens its World Cup camp and Jones is heading to Turkey. Here is what you need to know about the move:

1) The Super Lig is a step down from Bundesliga (as is almost any move out of the Bundesliga) but Besiktas is a top team in Turkey. It has won the top league 13 times, finished second 14 times, won the Turkish Cup nine times, and has never once been relegated. Based in Istanbul, it is one of the country’s most popular clubs.

3) Jones will be arriving as a player with Champions League experience who has routinely started for a top Bundesliga team. He will be surrounded by heightened expectations. Like Bradley going to Toronto or Dempsey going to Seattle, Jones will now be expected to be one of his club’s top players instead of simply being a role-player at a quality club. This is beneficial in the run-up to the World Cup because that is the role Klinsmann asks of Jones for the U.S team. For both the U.S and Besiktas, Jones is a cornerstone.

4) Super Lig games among the big clubs are extremely intense. The games are both technical and physical. For a competitor like Jones, it seems like it will be a good fit.

5) This might not be the end of Jones’ Champions League ambitions. Besiktas sits four points out of second place. If the club can catch Galatasaray, it will participate in the Champions League qualifying rounds. If Jones plays well, it is conceivable that Besiktas could negotiate new contract and keep him around for European games.

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