ISAIAH JONES will hold contract talks with Middlesbrough in the summer – and is desperate to extend his stay at the Riverside.

Having moved to Teesside from non-league side Tooting & Mitcham in the summer of 2019, Jones is due to enter the final year of his current contract at the end of the season.

Preliminary discussions over a new deal are understood to have taken place, with Michael Carrick regarding the 24-year-old as an integral part of his first-team squad, and more detailed talks are planned for the summer.

Given his development over the course of his 119 senior appearances for Boro, and his impressive performances this season, as highlighted by Monday’s goalscoring display against Sheffield Wednesday, it would be no surprise to see Jones attracting interest from other clubs.

However, with Boro having stood by him last season when he was going through mental-health issues, the London-born winger insists he has no desire to move on.

“What I would say is that this is my home right now,” said Jones. “I enjoy every minute playing here and playing in front of these fans. I’ve got 12 months left, but that doesn’t mean I want to leave.

“I enjoy playing here and I love the fans. We’ll look at my contract situation in the summer and see what happens. I leave that side of things (conversations with the club) more to my agent and just focus on the football for the time being.”


At various stages of the season, Jones’ focus has had to switch to recovery and rehabilitation, with a series of niggling injury issues having blighted his campaign.

He is back to full fitness now though – an injury scare in the latter stages of Good Friday’s draw at Southampton proved to be nothing more than cramp – and is determined to finish the season with a flourish as Boro look to force their way into a play-off place.

“I wasn’t playing at the start of the season, but I knew that I had to just keep grafting in training and take any chances that came my way,” he said. “That’s ultimately what I did against Sheff Wed away.

“I would rate my season as alright. It’s not been the best - I’d definitely like more assists and goals. I was getting into a good rhythm before the injury and now I’m back, I’m trying to get into that rhythm again.”

Jones received deserved praise for speaking so openly about his mental-health problems last summer, with the death of a host of close family members in a short space of time having affected him to the extent that he was unable to train or play for parts of last season.

His honesty will hopefully have helped others who are going through similar challenges, and by baring his soul, Jones made it easier to move on himself.

“When I spoke out last season (about my mental health), I wanted to tell people what I was going through and hopefully help other people going through a similar thing to speak out and hopefully get help,” he said.

“In terms of on the pitch for me, I feel like me doing that has helped me a lot to get back to enjoying football again and hopefully putting smiles on people’s faces again.

“As a footballer, if you’re not enjoying playing then there’s something wrong because it’s the best job in the world. Last season was difficult, but I thank God for helping me get through it. Long may that continue, and I keep improving and keep playing.”