Ex Town loanee Luke Thomas joins League Two club

New signing Luke Thomas drives forwards in the snow.

Luke Thomas made five appearances for Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Former Ipswich Town loanee Luke Thomas has joined League Two side Bristol Rovers for the season ahead.

The winger, 22, made just five appearances for the Blues in the second half of last season when on loan from Championship club Barnsley.

He explained in April that he had needed to 'take a few weeks away from the game that I love for my mental and physical health'.

The Gloucestershire-born player is now much nearer home with the Gas. 

"We first came across Luke when he caused us problems playing against us when at Coventry," said Rovers boss Joey Barton, who has signed Thomas on loan.

"I’ve been an admirer ever since and I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to get him with us at Rovers this season.

"His experience of playing at Championship level football for his young age is strong point of difference.

"He’s a really exciting talent who will help us carry a proper threat across the front line."

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So far, 20 senior players have left Portman Road since the end of last season.

Three of them - Andre Dozzell (QPR), Mark McGuinness (Cardiff), David Cornell (Peterborough) - have moved up to Championship clubs.

Three of them - Gwion Edwards (Wigan), James Wilson (Plymouth) and Jack Lankester (Cambridge United) - have joined fellow League One sides.

And eight - Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Freddie Sears, Alan Judge (all Colchester), Oli Hawkins (Mansfield), Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient), Stephen Ward (Wallsall) and Thomas (Bristol Rovers) - have dropped down to League Two clubs.

Emyr Huws and Tristan Nydam remain without clubs at present.

Luke Matheson, Josh Harrop, Keanan Bennetts and Troy Parrott are back at their parents clubs.