Barnsley

Barnsley: Luke Thomas caps excellent week with England under-20s start

Barnsley: Luke Thomas caps excellent week with England under-20s start

Barnsley winger Luke Thomas has enjoyed a memorable start to September with tangible recognition of his recent performances coming from both club and country.

Gloucestershire Live reported that the 20-year-old made his first start for England’s under-20 side against Switzerland on Monday night, helping his team to a 1-0 victory.

Four days earlier, he made his debut for England’s under-20s in a 0-0 draw, having been given his first call-up to the squad by Keith Downing, as noted by Gloucestershire Live.

Those international appearances came off the back of the youngster being named as Barnsley’s Player of the Month for August by the club’s supporters, as reported by barnsleyfc.co.uk.

Thomas came to Barnsley from Derby this summer for an undisclosed fee and enjoyed a memorable debut for the Reds, scoring the only goal of their 1-0 win over Fulham on the opening day of the Championship season.

While he hasn’t added to that goals tally since, he did provide an assist in the 2-2 draw against Charlton last month and has started all six of their Championship games so far in 2019/20, playing for all but 11 minutes of their league campaign to date. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]

He is one of only four goalscorers for a Barnsley team who have struggled to find the net recently, with a return of four goals from seven matches in all competitions this term.

Along with Alex Mowatt, Thomas has had the most key passes per game of anyone in Daniel Stendel’s squad this term, with a match average of 1.8. [via WhoScored.com]

He has also shown a willingness to track back for the good of the team, winning 2.5 tackles per game, an average bettered by only three team-mates. [via WhoScored.com]

As impressively as he has been performing in recent weeks, the 20-year-old still has aspects of his game where he can improve considerably.

His passing success rate of 70.5% has plenty of scope for improvement, while he has a tendency to let opponents get away from him, having been dribbled past 2.2 times per game this season, more than anyone else in the Barnsley squad. [via WhoScored.com]

Thomas scored four goals and set up five more in 43 games on loan at Coventry last season (0.09 goals and 0.12 assists per game) and, in a Barnsley team currently struggling to find the net, his scoring and creativity threat is likely to be badly needed at Oakwell this season.

His tackling record hints at a winger who is unselfish and willing to put in the hard yards for the good of the team, while at 20 he should have many more years in his career to work on the weaker aspects of his game.

Thomas should return to Barnsley buoyed by his recent club award and England under-20 bow, and his early season form suggests that he could be a hugely important asset to Stendel’s squad this term.

Barnsley fans, how happy were you to see Thomas given international recognition and how important will he be to the Reds this season? Let us know your views by commenting below!

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