Video: Blues target double-barrelled Gunner Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell has made exciting Arsenal youngster Jay Emmanuel-Thomas his prime transfer target.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger rates the versatile 20-year-old highly but, due to his frustrating unpredictably, is ready to let him go at the right price – understood to be around �1m.
And Jewell – who was due to hear back on a striker bid yesterday – believes that he is the man to get the best out of the former England Under-19 international.
The 6ft 3in Londoner has played virtually every outfield position coming up through the London club’s youth and reserve ranks, however his lightening pace and crowd-pleasing array of tricks has seen him settle mainly as a winger or striker.
Having added old heads, loud voices, aggression and goals to his team with the five summer signings made so far, it’s youth, pace, creativity and flair Jewell’s now after with the new Championship season little over two weeks’ away.
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Emmanuel-Thomas certainly ticks all those boxes.
A member of Arsenal’s 2008/9 FA Youth Cup winning team, he spent the following campaign on loan at Blackpool and Doncaster.
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It was the start of last season that he really announced himself though by scoring 10 goals in nine reserve team appearances – one particular piece of mesmerising skill and finish against an Everton second string going viral on video sharing website YouTube.
He was rewarded with four first team substitute appearances, including one against Chelsea in the Premier League and another against Shakhtar in the Champions League, before joining promotion-chasing Championship side Cardiff City on loan until the end of the season.
With heavy competition at the Welsh club the move didn’t quite work out how both parties planned.
However, an impressive performance by the loanee when Ipswich left Cardiff with a 2-0 win back in March brought him to Jewell’s attention.
And following failed bids to sign Millwall’s James Henry and Cardiff’s Peter Whittingham, the Gunners youngster has moved to the top of Town’s wish list.