Burnley’s Bobby Thomas’ loan at Bristol Rovers terminated - immediately joins League One rivals

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Thomas’ season-long loan from Burnley is over with ‘immediate effect’

Bristol Rovers defender Bobby Thomas’ loan from Burnley has been terminated with immediate effect. Thomas was meant to have been at the Memorial Stadium until the end of the season, but has now joined their League One rivals Barnsley.

The 21-year-old made 19 appearances for the club across all competitions and scored three goals. Thomas joined Rovers on Deadline Day along with Josh Coburn and Sylvester Jasper, but now only one remains. Jasper was returned to Fulham in October after falling out of favour following the arrival of Scott Sinclair. A month-long wait for Coburn to appear has proved fruitful however with nine goals in 19 matches.

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“Bobby Thomas’ loan deal at Bristol Rovers has been terminated with immediate effect,” said a short statement. We would like to thank Bobby for his efforts during his time at the club.”

Despite starting all but one of Rovers’ games since arriving at the club, Thomas’ loan spell has been cut short. Earlier this week Joey Barton hinted at defensive incomings in the January window, it shouldn’t be too long until we see Thomas’ replacement arrive at the club.

Thomas arrived at Rovers at a time when they were short on defensive options, and this week long-serving club servant Alfie Kilgour was sold to Mansfield Town. It leaves James Connolly as the only out-and-out centre-back at the club, with Lewis Gibson sidelined with injury.

Luca Hoole can play at centre-back and has done as Barton continues his conversion from right-back. Club captain Paul Coutts can play in the position as well as player-coach Glenn Whelan, who turned 39-years-old on Friday.

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As a result, Rovers now have two loanees on their books, and it frees up a spot for Rovers to recruit another player from another club on a temporary basis. Barton spoke earlier this week that he had entertained the idea of turning loan deals in to permanent, but that would now only leave both Josh Coburn and Lewis Gibson. Rovers are in the market for up to six new players, but so far three have departed and are yet to be replaced.

With Barton’s side having conceded the third most goals in league one this season, defensive reinforcements will be a priority for Eddy Jennings and the Rovers scouting team.

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