£12 million. For us Yanks here in America that’s just over $15m; that amount of money could certainly buy many things. For example across the pond in England’s most troublesome colony, that funding could get you roughly 3.75 million McDonald’s Big Macs. The American dream is still alive and well after all! All joking aside, this is the value of Leicester City’s own Luke Thomas, who has been the subject of transfer rumors as the window is set to slam shut in just over a weeks time.
The academy boy come first team man has been clearly out of favor under new Foxes manager Enzo Maresca. Many fans have been left wondering what his future holds in this revamped Championship side.
As previously stated, Thomas is down the pecking order as it comes to defenders, having seen absolutely no game time in England’s second division as of yet. He was omitted from the squad in the inaugural match of the season against Coventry City and an unused sub against the club’s last two league opponents Huddersfield and Cardiff City, respectively. For a player that was hailed under former manager and avid notepad enthusiast Brendan Rodgers, it would seem the promising U21’s England international is getting a raw deal.
Based on what I’ve seen from Thomas over my time watching City, he seems a more defensive than offensive full back. This is not a slight on him, to the contrary; many full backs in today’s game neglect the defensive side of play in favor of surging forward to join the attack. While admittedly I can remember Thomas getting beat a fair amount one on one when he’s alone out on the wing, he doesn’t shy away from defending and always gives his all when it comes to shutting down the opponent’s attack.
With just under 40 league appearances over the last two seasons, Luke Thomas looked on track to finding his feet and confidence in the first team. In my opinion, I think the academy product would benefit from a loan move(with one significant stipulation) this season. I think the lack of time Maresca had to work with the team in preseason hurt players like Thomas the most. The manager has weighed in on the matter, saying:
"“For sure as you say they are two clear full-backs that in our system, they need to learn many things and to adapt. We are trying to do it but at the same time we understand that the best qualities for them is to play as a full-back. It’s the way they have played all of their lives. We are trying to teach them some concepts.”"
The challenge herein lies with the City defender’s contract. His deal with Leicester City Football Club expires in about 11 months. If the club could convince Thomas to sign an extension and then loan him, I think everyone would win. The player would get his chance to play, with the club retaining a valuable homegrown talent to potentially come back into the fold after a full preseason next summer. According to website leedsunited.news, the West Yorkshire side could move for him if he’s available. I’m sure they aren’t the only ones either.
I would hope with the recent trauma everyone associated with the club has experienced concerning players leaving on frees, that the hierarchy at Leicester City would be proactive and swift in dealing with this issue. Things look glittering for the Foxes with the start to the season we’ve had, but as Shakespeare so eloquently once put it, “All that glisters(glitters) is not gold”. The ruthless second division has toppled many a “Premier League regular” into prolonged promotion scraps.
Can our Fellow Foxes afford to loan out or sell such a player? Unfortunately with Connor Coady to come back as well as James Justin waiting in the wings, along with Leicester City rumored to be looking for another center-back in the market, it would seem Luke Thomas is being pushed to the fringes with seemingly no path back onto the pitch barring multiple injuries: which may happen. In an ideal world, Maresca could convince the player that he should stay and commit himself to learning these new ideas; he may prove a useful asset in a grueling Championship season. What do you think? Let me know on X(the mosh pit formerly known as Twitter) and until next time, up the boys!