Middlesbrough star Isaiah Jones has stressed that he is not looking to leave the Riverside this summer, despite significant interest from a number of Premier League sides.
A winger by trade, Jones reverted to a wing-back role this season and was among Middlesbrough’s top performers, chipping in with a goal and nine assists as Boro narrowly came up short in their push for promotion.
With another season of Championship football on the cards, a number of top-flight sides have expressed an interest in signing Jones, with sources confirming to 90min that Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have been tracking the 22-year-old.
However, speaking to Ur Fresh TV, Jones was adamant that Middlesbrough is the best place for his development right now.
“I’m confident and I believe in my own ability, so of course I believe I can achieve that and play one day in the Premier League, but I know I’ve got to show that level consistently,” he said. “I know in myself that there is a lot more to come and hearing praise just motivates me to go harder.
“It’s always nice to hear praise, but when people say to me, ‘you should be in the Premier League’ and ‘you should leave Middlesbrough’, I’m like, ‘No, I really enjoy it here’. I’m improving here every day. That’s what I train hard for, to improve and work hard on my weaknesses. I don’t really miss home when I’m up there either. I’ve got my own crib.
“It’s great to hear nice things, but at the same time, you’ve got to stay humble. You get the buzz when people say nice things after games, but ultimately it’s then back to work and focusing on the next game after that.”
He added: “So next season I want to aim for eight to ten goals and about 12-15 assists. I got nine assists this season, but I don’t like the way they do it. They don’t add own goals. If you add own goals, I got 15.”
Boro are, however, on the cusp of losing another right-sided star in the form of Djed Spence, with Tottenham confident of winning the race for his signature following his return from his impressive loan with Nottingham Forest.