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Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael has admitted Sunderland target Luke Thomas could leave the Championship dark horses in search of regular game time, as reported by EADT.

The 21-year-old winger may have got 74 minutes under his belt during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Norwich City, hitting the bar with a first-half effort at Carrow Road, but that was only his seventh league start of the season.

For the most part, Thomas has struggled to force his way into Barnsley’s free-flowing team, the majority of his appearances coming from the bench since Ismael replaced Gerhard Struber at Oakwell in October.

How Footballers Wages Have Changed Since 2005

How Footballers Wages Have Changed Since 2005

Gloucester Live recently reported Sunderland are keen to offer the £1.2 million forward a fresh start away from South Yorkshire during the winter window.

And it seems as though Ismael wouldn’t stand in his way if Thomas was given the chance to showcase his quicksilver speed and tricky dribbling skills in the division below.

“We spoke to some guys, some guys are unhappy not to play more,” Ismael said when asked about the former Derby starlet’s future.

 “We will see. (Thomas) is one player for sure who wants to play more.

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“He has the quality, he’s shown the quality but he’s a young guy, he has to learn a lot. We will see happens next week.”

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson did little to quell the speculation on Saturday, admitting after a 0-0 draw with Northampton Town that signing a left-footed forward was one of his top priorities in the next few weeks (Northern Echo).

Thomas, then, ticks plenty of boxes at the Stadium of Light.

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