FOR Middlesbrough's fans, last week's capture of Luke Thomas came out of the blue - and for the player himself it all happened extremely quickly as well.

Thomas didn't learn about Boro's interest until the middle of last week but it was a welcome surprise and within three days he'd put pen to paper on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Thomas needed no convincing when he found out Boro were keen. He liked the idea of playing for Michael Carrick and after watching last week's Carabao Cup game at Chelsea, he could see a style of play that he thinks he suits, even if his new club were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat.

Thomas, who has already played almost 70 Premier League games, won the FA Cup with Leicester and the European Championships with England Under-21s last summer, spent the first half of the season on loan at Sheffield United but that stint was cut short. It was former Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom who signed Thomas and after he was replaced by Chris Wilder, the ex-Boro manager was keen to free up a domestic loan space as he set about putting his own stamp on the squad.


Thomas returned to Leicester but rather than risk spending the second half of the season on the sidelines, quickly made clear his intention to head out on another loan in search of football - and was delighted when he found out Boro were interested.

"I'm really happy to get this deal done and really happy to join the club. I can't wait to get started," he told the club website in his first interview.

"To be honest it wasn't really something that had been brought up. But when it did come up, it came to my head that I'd like to join and it happened fast. It was done in three days.

"I've watched Middlesbrough over the years, they're a big club, a great club to play for, the manager brought a spark to my head to want to play for him and I watched the game against Chelsea and even though they got beat I could see it suited my style of play.

"It was something I was really interested in. Any player wants to play as much as they can. Hopefully I can get as many games as possible and do well for the club."

Thomas is available to make his Boro debut against Sunderland and he has quickly been made aware of the importance of the Tees-Wear derby.

"Since I came in everyone has been telling me about that game, how big it is. Hopefully we can get a win there," he said.

"That's the exciting thing about the Championship, it's never over until it's over, we're only three points off the play-off so hopefully we can kick on, get some results and get in there."