'I don't agree... I'm doing what's best for my career' - new signing Thomas responds to Ismael's 'unprofessional' accusations

Second half substitute and new signing Luke Thomas appeals to the linesman.2

Luke Thomas hasn't featured in a matchday squad for Ipswich Town since February 16. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.ste

New signing Luke Thomas insisted joining Ipswich Town is the best move for his career, as he responded to criticism from Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael following his move to Suffolk. 

The winger signed on loan from the Tykes last week, making his debut against Peterborough on Saturday, having pushed for a loan move since before the January transfer window opened as he sought regular football. 

Ismael, when asked about Thomas’s exit, claimed the 21-year-old's attitude was ‘not really professional’, with the new Town signing disagreeing and stressing he was simply doing what he feels is best for his career by pushing for a loan move.

“There are two opinions and different sides to it,” he said. 

Valerien Ismael has discussed Luke Thomas's loan move to Ipswich

Valerien Ismael has discussed Luke Thomas's loan move to Ipswich - Credit: ITFC/PA

“I don’t agree with what he came out and said but if that’s the way he felt then I respect that. I have full respect for him and my team-mates and Barnsley but I was just desperate to get out and play games 

“I lost a lot of confidence in the period of time since the start of the season and I was desperate to get out and play games. I maybe pushed the loan move a little more than I should have but I was just very eager to get out and play games. 

“I feel a fresh start away on loan would be good for me so hopefully now I can get back to my best. 

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“I haven’t spoken to the manager but I wish my team-mates all the best for the rest of the season. 

“Barnsley and Ipswich fans may see it differently but I felt this was best for my career, either for a few months or for the rest of my future. 

New signing Luke Thomas drives forwards in the snow.

New signing Luke Thomas drives forwards in the snow. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.ste

“I wanted to play games and I felt like the best opportunity to do that was at Ipswich Town, so I’m grateful to everyone here who have given me a chance.” 

Thomas’s 15-minute cameo on Saturday coincided with Town’s best period of their 1-0 loss to Posh, with the loanee now looking to get a first start under his belt when Sunderland visit tomorrow night. 

“It was good to get on the pitch for a few minutes but obviously the result was disappointing,” he said. 

“I felt like I did okay but hopefully now I can get more minutes and show everyone what I can do.


“I feel fully match-fit and I think I can play 90 minutes because I’ve been involved a lot at Barnsley.  

“I am here to give my best and, hopefully, give the opposition full-back a tough time. That’s what the manager wants from me. 

“We play 4-3-3 here and that’s probably the best I can probably ask for. It’s the formation for me and hopefully I can show why.” 

Pairing Thomas and Gwion Edwards on the flanks would give the Blues an extra attacking edge, with pace and ability to run at defenders something Ipswich have been missing for long spells this season. 

“Right wing is my favourite position and where I can cause the most damage, whether that’s cutting in or finding a neat little ball to a team-mate,” Thomas said. 

“Gwion is a very good player and similar to me, liking to cut in on his wrong foot. Hopefully if we get the opportunity we can cause havoc for the opposition. 

“I work hard for the team to try and create or at the other end defensively. But it should be a minimum for any player and I’ll continue to do that. 

“I want to spend more time doing things to help attack, though.”