Player Profile: James Jones

Credit Graham Burrell

Name: James Jones

Position: Central Midfielder

Born: 1 February 1996, Winsford

Former Club: Crewe Alexandra

Fee: Free Agent

Contract Expires: June 2023 (according to transfermarkt)

Lincoln Appearances up to 11/02/21: 32 (13) Goals 3

James Jones signed for City on July 6th 2020, one of the earliest captures of the new Michael Appleton era. He had been offered a new deal by his former employer, Crewe Alexandra, but opted to sign for the Imps instead. Ironically, we then drew Crewe in the League Cup where he made his City debut, flicking on a corner for Lewis Montsma to rifle home the winner. He made his league debut a week later against Oxford United and scored his first goal in City colours against Bradford City in the second round of the League Cup.

Jones came through the youth ranks at Crewe, making his debut at the age of 18 in League One. He appeared 26 times that season, scoring once, following it up with 32 appearances in 2015/16 as Crewe were relegated. He excelled in the 2016/17 season, bagging 11 goals from 50 outings and earning himself a £300,000 move to Preston, or so it seemed. The move collapsed as he suffered a prolonged recovery from a hernia operation. He resumed light training and made six appearances before he suffered a medial ligament injury in training and was ruled out for the season. Despite that setback, Jones earned a two-year deal in May 2018 and appeared 71 times for Crewe, scoring eight goals.

Bagging a penalty in the EFL trophy shoot out v Scunthorpe – Courtesy Graham Burrell

Jones played much of his final season at Crewe on the right side of a three-man midfield, with a license to get forward. His return in terms of goals and assists was modest, two of each, although he did bag an assist in their final game, a 3-1 win against Exeter. That game put them top of the table, a position they relinquished on the PPG model, but it was a vital result in securing them promotion. Despite playing at Crewe since the age of nine, Jones told me the decision to move to Lincoln was an easy one.

“The proposition from Lincoln really excited me, the project here was something I wanted to be a part of. I saw the ambition of the club and I knew about the previous success and momentum. The gaffer was a big part of it too, what he brings to the table was important. He has faith in young players and wants to develop them and that ethos appealed to me.”

Since moving to City he scored in an impressive cameo as we beat Forest Green 6-2 in the FA Cup, getting his first league goal a couple of weeks later as we beat Rochdale. Jones was one of the players who dropped out of the side during the club’s Covid scare, and struggled to force his way back into the starting XI for the rest of the campaign.

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