According to various sources, Blues are in for recently released Bristol City forward Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on a free transfer.
The ex-Arsenal forward is a versatile forward who can play out wide, off the striker and as a front man. His record at Bristol City is the best it’s been at any club, so it’s clear that he has progressed in some way from the raw youth player who spent years out on loan.
He is an extremely skilful player, who can change the game in an instant. He’s a fan favourite, or at least was, at Bristol City due to his composure and technical ability which set him apart. Physically, as well, he is a real handful. At 6’1 he is by no means short, but he remains mobile and powerful. From what I’ve seen, and heard from Bristol City fans, is that he’s like a lower league Berbatov.
On the negative side, he is often described as lazy. This isn’t always a fair description, but it seems when it comes to Emmanuel-Thomas it may be. This is unlikely to endear him to the Blues fans, who like most English fans love to see players who work hard. It also means that he may not fit into Gary Rowett’s system, as he requires every player to have a role defensively. According to Bristol fans, he can be a bit of a luxury player, but there are times where he just pulls off something special.
All in all, he could be a very exciting signing. He’s skilful and creative, but his defensive contribution may make Blues err on the side of caution. Personally, I’d like to see us take a gamble on him, but I understand that with our financial position that might not be the best idea.