West Bromwich Albion’s £5m-rated winger Jerome Thomas could be set for a switch to Stoke City after Potters boss Tony Pulis made his interest in the 28-year-old clear.
Pulis has seen Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant struggle for fitness and form respectively this season, and is believed to be weighing up a bid for Thomas which could include at least one of his fringe players, with full-back Andy Wilkinson one name of interest to Baggies boss Roy Hodgson.
Pulis sees service to Peter Crouch as key in his Stoke setup, and admires both Thomas’s dribbling and crossing skills – which he feels can aid his giant striker in the pursuit of goals.
After starting out at Arsenal, Thomas enjoyed four years at Charlton Athletic before a brief, unhappy period at Portsmouth.
His move to West Brom in 2009 brought about a change in fortunes though, and after starring in the Baggies team which earned promotion from the Championship in his first season he has been a virtual ever-present since.
Hodgson won’t want to lose one of his key men, but the need for reinforcements in a Baggies squad which are currently just five points clear of the relegation zone is clear – especially if Peter Odemwingie completes a rumoured move away.
The attraction of European football will appeal to Thomas, who could be eligible for Stoke’s Europa League tie against Valencia next month should he complete his move.
Pulis – who signed the likes of Crouch, Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios in the last transfer window – has gone on record to claim that this will be a quiet January for his club, but the Welshman is keen to freshen up a squad which have already played 34 games this season.