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LOAN: A welcome surprise for the Blues

Popular winger returns for the season

24 July 2019

Carlisle United are delighted to announce the return to Brunton Park of Sheffield United midfielder Nathan Thomas who today joins the club on a season long loan deal [with no recall and permission to play in all competitions].

Thomas, 24, had been a summer target for manager Steven Pressley having enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Blues through the second half of last season where he bagged four goals in 16 appearances.

Manager Steven Pressley said: "He was one of my main targets and we were obviously disappointed when he initially went to Gillingham.

"His agent contacted me about 10 days ago to inform me that Nathan and his family hadn't quite settled in the area, and he asked if we would still consider taking him in. Of course the answer was yes to that.

"We're delighted that we've got it over the line because he's a really exciting player. He has the qualities I want but he knows that I feel there are certain aspects of his game, and this includes his fitness, which need to be improved upon.

"That's something I spoke to him in great detail about before the end of last season and that's why I was disappointed when I didn't get the chance to get a full pre-season into him.

"I'm aware that he hasn't quite had a full pre-season, it's been a little bit mixed for him, and he's under no illusions that he'll be worked hard when he gets here. 

"I've told him that he has to be fully committed to what we're doing and his response told me that this is a place he wants to come to, and that's obviously really good to hear. 

"Nathan is a really likeable person and everybody at this club wants him to do well. He can be a match winner at League Two level and it's now over to him to show us that."

Thomas appeared to be set to spend this season with League One side Gillingham, but the Cumbrians moved quickly to secure the nippy wide man’s services as soon as it became apparent that his move to Kent had broken down.

He started his career with Sunderland as a youngster before joining Darlington for two short spells.

He made the move away from the Stadium of Light in 2013 when he joined Plymouth Argyle in the winter of 2013. He played 24 games for the Pilgrims before spending time with Motherwell and Mansfield Town.

The wide man then headed further north to sign for Hartlepool where he became a favourite with the locals with 14 goals in 56 appearances.

The Blades secured his services for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2017 and he has since had loan stays with Shrewsbury and Notts County. The first half of last season was spent at Meadow Lane where he scored once in his 29 appearances.

This deal remains subject to the clearance of all necessary paperwork.

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