Thomas can leave U's suggests Aidy

COLCHESTER United manager Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed that he would not stand in the way of expensive summer signing Jo�l Thomas if he wanted to leave the club.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United manager Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed that he would not stand in the way of expensive summer signing Jo�l Thomas if he wanted to leave the club.

The 22-year-old French striker was signed by former boss Paul Lambert from Scottish club Hamilton Academical for a reported fee of �125,000 in July, however, he has been limited to just three late substitute appearances for the first team so far this season.

Thomas hasn't even been on the bench for Boothroyd's first three matches in charge of the U's, and with Steven Gillespie returning from injury and Kayode Odejayi in on loan the pacey forward has now slipped to fifth in the striking pecking order.

“He's a decent guy and comes in and works hard every day,” said Boothroyd of his former Bordeaux and Kaiserslauten player.

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“The previous manager must have thought a lot of him to pay that sort of money, but culturally it may have been difficult for him and maybe he's not settled that well.

“He has a good pedigree but at this moment in time he's not in my plans for the first team.

“You never know though, come November, December time, with injuries and suspensions, he might get his chance.

“But if there are people out there that fancy him then I couldn't possibly stand in his way as that wouldn't be the right thing to do.

“All players want to play football and I'm not daft enough to think I can keep players here that aren't going to play.”

Thomas was supposed to be part of a double signing for Colchester involving Accies team mate Richard Offiong, however, the latter opted out of a move to Essex at the last minute and instead signed for League One rivals Carlisle for �75,000.

David Perkins is another Colchester player that is seemingly heading for the exit door of the Weston Homes Community Stadium after he informed Boothroyd that he would be sticking to his request to find a club up north.

“We're not going to let him go for nothing,” said Boothroyd, after Perkins played for the reserves in midweek. “He's a good player and I'm sure someone will show interest.

Since his appointment Boothroyd has made three loan signings and has let player-coach Gary Holt leave, meaning the U's squad currently stands at a sizeable 31.

“We're not a Manchester United and we're not going to be able to have a huge squad,” admitted Boothroyd. “If players come in then others will have to go out.”

(N) COLCHESTER fans. What are your early impressions of Aidy Boothroyd? Are Col U going in the right direction? Let us know: sport@eadt.co.uk

Joel Thomas

Age: 22

Born: Caen, France

Career

- Joined top French club Bordeaux as a youngster and made 20 appearances for their B team over a two year period, scoring three goals

- Switched to German side Kaiserslautern in 2007 but lasted less than a year there, scoring two goals in four reserve team appearances before being released

- Had trials at Scottish side Dundee United and Premier League side Wigan Athletic in 2008 before signing for newly-promoted SPL side Hamilton Academical

- Made 29 appearances for the Accies last season but scored just once in a League Cup match against lower league opponents Clyde

- Colchester United manager Paul Lambert agrees to sign Thomas as part of a joint deal involving strike partner Richard Offiong, but ends up with only Thomas for a reported fee of �125,000 after Offiong pulls out of the switch at the last minute who instead signs for League One rivals Carlisle United

- Thomas scores once in pre-season - the opener against non-league side Rushden & Diamonds

- Since then he has made just three substitute appearances for the first team to date, coming on as an 81st, 79th and 77th minute replacement in matches against Gillingham, MK Dons and Gillingham again

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