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Cherries: Mitchell won't let Thomas leave on the cheap
CHERRIES chairman Eddie Mitchell insists striker Wes Thomas will not be allowed to leave Dean Court on the cheap.
Boss Eddie Howe last month reluctantly granted Thomas a loan move to Championship outfit Blackpool after the player had asked to go.
The 25-year-old, who will remain at Bloomfield Road until New Year’s Day, netted his first goal for the Tangerines in their 4-1 win over Peterborough on Saturday.
Although there was no provision for the agreement to be made permanent, Thomas is likely to be a target for Blackpool once the transfer window has reopened next month.
Thomas is under contract to Cherries until 2014 and, should he be sold, the club would look to recoup a large chunk of the six-figure sum they paid to Crawley just 11 months ago.
Mitchell told the Daily Echo: “He has gone on loan until January and there isn’t anything else in place. When he comes back, it will be up to Eddie to decide what happens.
“If anybody were to come in for him, I would have to sit down with Eddie to put a value on him and it would be for us to look at what would be feasible to let him go. We are not in the habit of buying players to just give them away.”
Asked whether he felt Cherries were in a win-win situation, Mitchell replied: “It depends how he performs from now on.
“While he is in the Championship, he is gaining experience at a higher level and, if he can perform at that level, then I would have thought his value would increase.
“I am not 100 per cent certain that Eddie would want to see him go. We would have to weigh up everything if the situation were to arise.
“By all accounts, he is performing well for Blackpool and he scored one goal and made another on Saturday so he is going in the right direction.
“If Blackpool or any other club were to want him, it would be up to them to come to us but there is no way we would let him go for nothing.”
Although Howe had been keen to give Thomas a chance to stake his claim following a loan spell at Portsmouth, the striker had made it clear that he saw his future elsewhere.
In an interview with the Blackpool Gazette, Thomas said: “I was surprised Blackpool came in for me but it is a great opportunity.
“I came back from Portsmouth and told Bournemouth I wanted first-team football. They couldn’t guarantee that so I asked if I could go. I am delighted with the chance at Blackpool.”
Asked about a permanent move, he said: “We will see how this month goes but anything is possible really.”