Ipswich Town are set to bolster their attack by finally landing Barnsley winger Luke Thomas – and a deal could be confirmed later on today, per the East Anglian Daily Times.
The Tractor Boys have lacked a cutting edge in the final third this season and have been looking to add both pace and creativity out wide this month – and Thomas fits the bill for Paul Lambert.
A deal for the 21-year-old has been rumoured since before the January transfer window opened, and it has taken a while for Ipswich and the Tykes to come to terms on a temporary deal for Thomas.
But it looks like the Championship club have finally given Thomas permission to depart, and considering he’s so out of favour at Oakwell it could turn into a permanent deal next season if he impresses.
A graduate of the Cheltenham Town academy, Thomas joined Derby County five years ago as a 16-year-old and his form in League One for Coventry City in a 2018-19 loan spell saw him called up for the England under-20 squad.
Thomas joined Barnsley 18 months ago for an undisclosed fee, but scored just once in 38 games in his first full season at the club (transfermarkt), and he has been restricted to a bit-part player since Valerien Ismael took charge, starting just three of his last 13 appearances.
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The arrival of Thomas could be part of a double swoop for Ipswich today, with Preston midfielder Josh Harrop also set to join providing his medical comes back all-clear.
Both Thomas and Harrop would strengthen Lambert’s hand against his rivals for the second half of the season, with both possessing qualities that have been seen a level above League One.
Thomas represents some good business for Ipswich, and Barnsley may also win in this deal as well if he comes back a much better player and starts firing for the Tykes next season.
But there’s absolutely no doubting that if the finances are there then Town will be looking to do a permanent deal in the summer, and there’s no reason to believe that Thomas won’t be very effective in the third tier.
It also means that Alan Judge can move back into the middle of the pitch, as he probably doesn’t have the legs anymore to be quite as effective out wide – Lambert certainly will have a lot of depth if the signings of Thomas and Harrop get over the line.