TRANSFER NEWS: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is not for sale, says Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell
JAY Emmanuel-Thomas is going nowhere.
That was Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell’s defiant message today following national speculation that Premier League duo Fulham and QPR were weighing up summer bids for the tricky wide man.
“Jay is not going anywhere,” said the Blues boss. “Absolutely not.
“There’s been no interest at all. As I keep saying, I don’t think anyone’s got our phone number because no-one ever rings me to ask about our players!”
Emmanuel-Thomas’s self-admitted “laid-back” style meant he had a number of doubters when he first arrived from Arsenal for an initial fee of �600,000 last summer.
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However, the 21-year-old has added work-rate to his crowd-pleasing dribbling skills and powerful long-range snap shots, improving significantly during a 20-game succession of starts in the second half of the season.
Jewell still feels the London-born maestro has a frustrating habit of fading out of games for long spells though and has implied that he will have the youngster working harder on his fitness than most in pre-season.
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Responding further to the rumours linking him with an exit, Jewell added: “Jay might not want to stay with us after the summer he’s going to have – he’s going to have no energy left!
“He’s always had ability. I think when we first brought him here the crowd weren’t sure when they watched him lumber around the pitch, but everyone has taken to him as the season has gone on.
“Every time he gets the ball he gets you off your seat. You think he’s going to make something happen every time he gets the ball, we’re all guilty of it, and I think we, as well as him, need to realise that he can do the simple things too.
“He’s maturing, but he needs to get fitter. It’s been a bit of a shock to him playing all these games at a high intensity.
“Hopefully he’ll come back on the first day next year knowing what’s expected.”