EDDIE Howe has said he reluctantly agreed to allow Wes Thomas to leave Goldsands Stadium after the striker had made it clear he wanted to go.
Thomas yesterday completed a loan move to Championship outfit Blackpool and will remain at Bloomfield Road until New Year’s Day.
However, although there is no provision for the agreement to be made permanent, it appears the 25-year-old may have played his last game for Cherries.
Thomas has reunited with Michael Appleton at Blackpool having enjoyed a fruitful loan spell under him when he was manager at Portsmouth earlier this season.
The east Londoner made an encouraging start to his Cherries career, netting 10 times in his first 20 appearances after signing – initially on loan – from Crawley for an undisclosed six-figure fee in August 2011.
However, once the move had been made permanent in the January transfer window and Thomas had penned a two-and-a-half year deal, the goals dried up with the frontman registering only one in his next 22.
It is understood Thomas had been hoping to be offered an improved contract in line with some of the club’s higher earners having agreed terms on his existing deal when a wage cap had been in place.
However, it is believed this did not materialise and Thomas’s frustrations grew when an influx of new strikers in the summer saw him drop down the pecking order and fall out of favour under former boss Paul Groves.
Although Howe had been keen to give him a chance following his appointment last month, Thomas made it clear he saw his future elsewhere when he spoke to the Cherries manager last week.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “Wes approached me before the Oldham game saying he wanted to go, which came as a big surprise to me.
“We had brought him back from Portsmouth with a view to involving him in the squad and seeing where things went.
“But he said he wanted to leave so has gone on loan. He has jumped a level to the Championship so it will be an exciting challenge for him. If he does well, I think that would only benefit us in January when we re-assess what is going to happen.”
Thomas, who could feature when Blackpool host Watford tomorrow, can be recalled by Cherries at any time after he has spent an initial 28 days at Bloomfield Road.
He was one of three players to leave on loan yesterday, with midfielder Mark Molesley joining League Two Plymouth for a month and youngster Josh Wakefield linking up with Dagenham & Redbridge, also for a month.
Both deals could be extended beyond a month even though the loan window closed yesterday until January.