Portsmouth transfer news: QPR boss Mark Warburton provides update on George Thomas' status amid Blues and Blackpool talk

Mark Warburton insisted Pompey-linked attacking midfielder George Thomas remains ‘a vital member’ of his QPR squad.

By Mark McMahon
Sunday, 9th January 2022, 12:08 pm

But the Rs boss sympathised with the 24-year-old’s desire to play regular first-team football as he sits behind Chris Willock and Ilias Chair in his pecking order.

It’s that determination to feature on a consistent basis which has prompted speculation regarding Thomas’ future this month.

Both the Blues and Blackpool were this week linked with loans moves for the former Leicester youngster who has featured just 10 times for QPR this season.

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Only one of those has come as a start in the Championship, where the west London side currently sit fifth in the table.

Yet Thomas was handed a rare placing the starting XI on Saturday, as the Hoops saw off Rotherham on penalties in the FA Cup.

His call-up was a result of Morocco international Chair’s involvement in the African Cup of Nations and an injury to Willock.

QPR's George Thomas has been linked with a move to Pompey Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Warburton was impressed with what he saw from the Welshman.

And while he didn’t rule out a loan departure this month, he reassured Thomas that he remains highly valued at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

‘Of course (he remains part of the plans). We’ve got a tight squad, 22 players,’ said Warburton.

‘Young Aaron Drewe stepped up from the academy with the situation we had. Chrissy (Willock) going injured, players going away, so you’ve got to bring the boys up.

‘George is a vital member of the squad but he wants to play more football, simple as that.’

He continued: ‘George is a great lad. Great character. He’s a good athlete, he wants to play as all players want to play.

‘The nature of first-team football is Ilias (Chair) and Chris (Willock) have been outstanding so far this year.

‘His challenge is that he plays the same position as Chris and Ilias.

‘It’s a tough one for him but he’s been patient. He works hard every day.

‘You saw him tire toward the 70/75 minute mark (against Rotherham) but he did really well.

‘Like all players, they want to play football week in, week out but it’s a tough business.’

Blues boss Danny Cowley is expected to be on the lookout for a player like Thomas with attacking midfielder Gassan Ahadme set to return to parent club Norwich following an unsuccessful loan spell at Fratton Park.

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