Saint Thomas Departs...
An hectic day in the transfer market today for the Clarets with one in and one out. We start with the news that Wayne Thomas is now a Saint,having signed for the Hampshire club this afternoon for £1.2 million. An extremely good bit of business this by the club, especially when we hear on the same day that we have signed another defender in Clarke Carlisle from Watford for £200,000 only(see later article)
Wayne Thomas joined the Clarets from Stoke City in the summer of 2005 after Steve Cotterill famously travelled over to Florida and back in a day to ensure he secured the services of the holidaying defender.
He made over 50 appearances for the club and even managed to score one goal in the 4-0 win over Coventry in August 2005.
Those appearances would have been significantly more, were it not for two horrendous injuries that kept him of the team for sometime in his first season
He first tore his knee ligaments and then, after a surprisingly quick recovery, broke his second metatarsal bone.
Steve Cotterill however made Thomas captain for the 2006/7 Season .This was not a happy time however and his performance seemed to suffer with the additional responsibility.At the same time he began to get a reputation for collecting yellow and red cards which did not endear himself to some of the Clarets fans. One famous incident was his sending off against Southampton at home last season, a match that we eventually lost with Thomas being accused of being an honorary Saint that day! How strange that he now actually is a Saint!!
However with the signing of Caldwell, who also took over the Captain's role, Thomas seemed to find a new lease of life and put in some awesome defensive performances whilst curbing his aggression.
Some of the Clarets fans though were not totally convinced and there were some awful chants aimed at him on one particularly bad day during the 19 winless streak at home to Luton.
On balance though, Thomas will be missed and was beginning to show just what he could do in defence being part of a solid back four that was gelling well together.
The gaffer had this to say about the transfer:
'After two weeks of dialogue and five or six bids later we got to a stage where, at £1.2m, it was probably too good an offer to turn down.
'When it gets to that stage, it's time to ask the player what his thoughts and feelings are and Thommo has had a tough time here in the past couple of years.
'I didn't want to lose him, but as disappointed as I am he wanted a fresh start and I can't begrudge the kid that.'
There has been some suggestion amongst fans that Thomas was unlikely to sign a new contract at the end of this season so this deal makes even more sense if that was the case and £1.2 million for a player that cost nothing is one handsome profit.
We however wish him all the best down South and thank him for his service to Burnley FC