U’s sign Swansea striker Casey Thomas

COLCHESTER United have this morning completed the signing of Casey Thomas on an emergency loan from Premier League club Swansea City.

Front-runner Thomas, a Welsh under-21 international, celebrates his 21st birthday later this month and has signed for the U’s on a short-term deal until January 2.

He will travel with the squad to Tranmere Rovers today, ahead of tomorrow’s League One game at Prenton Park.

Steven Gillespie is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, which leaves manager John Ward with just one fit striker in Kayode Odejayi.

Ward might revert to a 4-3-3 formation at Tranmere, which would probably mean Thomas starting on the bench as back-up for target man Odejayi.

Thomas said: “The manager (Brendan Rodgers) wants me to go and gain some Football League experience and I’m more than happy to do that.

“It’s important I try and get some Football League games under my belt at my age. I’ve had spells on loan at Newport and Port Talbot, so this is the next step for me.

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“I can’t wait to go there and hopefully play some first team games. Watching the likes of Jazz (Richards) and Joe (Allen) progress as youngsters has really spurred me on. It shows what can be achieved as a local youngster coming through the ranks at Swansea.’

“I feel more comfortable and confident as a person and a player this season. I really don’t mind where I play because in the modern game you have to be flexible and versatile.

“I’m looking forward to helping Colchester as much as I can. The manager has told me it is a good club with a good manager who has a lot of experience. I’m sure I can learn a lot there and the loan spell can only help me develop.”

Thomas has so far made just a couple of senior appearances for the high-flying Swans.

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