Signing number five of the window is through the Huish Park doors, as Yeovil Town sign former Hampton & Richmond fullback, Jordan Thomas on a 2-year deal. The 23 year-old will be looking to settle down in his career after playing for a couple clubs after leaving Norwich City.

In this article I will be doing an analysis on Jordan Thomas. The article will include:

  • Player Profile
  • Previous History
  • Key Strengths
  • Areas To Improve
  • Key Stats – 23/24
  • How he suits the “Mark Cooper System”
  • Conclusion

Enjoy the read! Any feedback would be massively appreciated as I continue to analyse every signing the Glovers’ make this summer. I would also be interested in hearing your opinion on the signing of Jordan Thomas and how the summer has gone so far?


New signing Jordan Thomas.
Picture courtesy of YTFC.

Player Profile

  • Name: Jordan Thomas
  • Position: Defender (Right Back or Right Wingback)
  • Age: 23 (2/1/01)
  • Height: 6ft (182cm)
  • Strong Foot: Right
  • Previous Club: Hampton & Richmond
  • 23/24 Season Stats: 2707 minutes – 30 games – 1 goal – 1 assist

Previous History

2020 – Signs his first professional contract at Norwich City.

2020-2021 – Norwich City – 1 Game – 0 Goals.

2020-2021 – Leyton Orient (Loan) 1 Game – 0 Goals.

2021 – 2023 – Barnet – 27 Games – 0 Goals.

2023 – 2024 – Hampton & Richmond – 41 Games – 3 Goals.

Jordan Thomas

Key Strengths

National League Experience – In his short career, Thomas has had a stint of football in the National League Premier, with Barnet, where the right back made 27 appearances for the Bees’ in 2 seasons, joining the club following his release from Norwich. Any sort of experience will be helpful coming into this season and he will certainly gain much more this season, alongside Michael Smith.

Good Age – I have absolutely loved our recruitment so far this season. We have signed young, hungry players who have a desire to improve and help the team. At 23, Jordan Thomas has played a good amount of senior football, including an appearance in the Premier League, against Man City but is of an age where he has plenty of room to develop and grown.

Perfect Understudy – When I was going through our squad, thinking of what positions we need to sign players in this season, one of the harder options was a backup right back. We have found someone who will push Michael Smith to the limits for a starting spot but probably play the role of an understudy in the early parts of the 2024/25 season. Smith will be able to coach and improve Thomas perfectly, whilst Cooper gives him the correct amount of game time to improve. As the season goes on and we head into next season, Thomas will probably become starter.

Gets Forward – Mark Cooper asks a lot of his fullbacks to get forward and be involved in our offensive style, especially the right sided full back. This is certainly one of the strongest parts to Thomas’ game, he can deliver with real quality and link up really well with the right sided forward. He has pace and agility so I would back him in a race against most players.

Dribbling I think the strongest part to his game is probably his dribbling. When playing for Hampton & Richmond, Thomas completed 2.1 successful dribbles per 90. This means he is a real threat when running 1-on-1 at an opposition defender and can create chances for himself by taking on his man.

A View into the Future – As with all of our other signings this season, we have brought in younger players around the experience we already had, on 2 year-deals to give us a good squad to build around in future years. We have signed these players to develop and improve before either selling for profit or staying in our squad, gaining experience and build with our squad as we progress.


Areas To Improve

Fitness Question Marks – Jordan Thomas has struggled with injuries over recent seasons, at both Barnet and Hampton. Hopefully he has got over these injury issues and he can come in and be a vital part of our National League season, however, there are concerns over his fitness issues.

Struggled at NL Level The 23 year-old does have some experience at National League level, however, he did struggle in his time at Barnet where he played just 27 times over two seasons. He will be hoping for a better showing  in step 1 this time round.

Passing Accuracy – In the National League South last season, Jordan Thomas had a passing accuracy percentage of 71%, for a Mark Cooper side this is fairly poor, so will need to be improved going into next season.

Defensive Smartness – One thing that the former Norwich City man needs to improve on is his defensive smartness. He can sometimes get caught out of position, either too high up the pitch or perhaps too deep. He also gets caught at the back post on some occasions where he isn’t concentrating or switched on so the opposition player has a tap in.


Key Stats – 23/24

Stats produced by FevsFootball.

General Passing:

  • Passes Per 90 – 26.4
  • Passing Accuracy – 71%
  • Long Passes Per 90 3.4
  • Long Passing Accuracy – 44%
  • Progressive Passes Per 90 – 7.1
  • Progressive Passing Accuracy – 60%
  • Passes Into Final Third Per 90 – 4.1
  • Passes Into Final Third Accuracy – 57%

Creative Passing:

  • Passes To Penalty Area Per 90 – 2.19
  • Passes To Penalty Area Accuracy – 55%
  • Through Passes Per 90 – 0.23
  • Through Passing Accuracy – 29%
  • Crosses Per 90 – 2.16
  • Crossing Accuracy – 44%

On The Ball:

  • Dribbles Per 90 – 2.1
  • Dribble Success Rate – 49%
  • Touches In Box Per 90 – 1.1
  • Progressive Runs Per 90 – 0.5
  • Fouled Per 90 – 0.7

Duels:

  • Offensive Duels Per 90 – 5.0
  • Offensive Duels Won – 39%
  • Defensive Duels Per 90 – 7.9
  • Defensive Duels Won – 67%
  • Ariel Duels Per 90 – 3.1
  • Ariel Duels Won – 41%
  • Loose Ball Duels Per 90 – 3.2
  • Loose Ball Duels Won – 41%

Defensive Actions:

  • Shots Blocked Per 90 – 0.3
  • Interceptions Per 90 – 5.1
  • Sliding Tackles Per 90 – 0.7
  • Fouls Per 90 – 0.5

How Will He Fit In?

In the picture above, I have planned out what our current squad depth is looking like, where I believe players will be positioned and who starts. With the incoming of right back Jordan Thomas, it is important to remember that we have the vastly experienced head of Michael Smith at right back as well. As we know, having good levels of squad depth is important, especially when you can fill a bench of 7 players next season. (Aaron Jarvis is also named in this picture, I will be doing an analysis of him very soon)!

I believe that Jordan Thomas has been brought in as the perfect understudy to 35 year-old Michael Smith for this upcoming season, where his minutes will likely come off the bench or in rotation with Smith. As the season goes on I can see Thomas playing more minutes, as Smith begins to fatigue. This is the perfect development stage for Thomas’ career.

When Thomas does play, he is likely to pick up a position as a right back in a 4231 formation, where he will be expected to get forward, making overlapping or the occasional inverted run inside, to create space for our wide attackers and get involved in our attacking play. This is a big strength of Jordan Thomas’ game as he likes to get forward and pull good quality crosses into the box.

As shown above, if Jordan Thomas is going to start, he is most likely going to play in the right back position, with a left footed, right winger ahead of him to create space for both. If Jordan Thomas creates an overlapping run, this will pull the fullback away from Jordan Young, who can drive inside and cause the opposition serious problems.

As I explained when we signed Finn Cousin-Dawson, Mark Cooper has sometimes used a 3/5 at the back formation if we are defending a lead and want to sit on the result we have.

In this formation, Jordan Thomas would be useful as a right wingback where he is the main source of width in the side. His job in the team would be to keep tight to the touch line wherever possible to stretch the opposition. He would be a real threat in this position because his main strengths come in the final third, where it would give him the maximum amount of opportunities to deliver with quality. This is shown below:

Despite this option, I feel that our preferred formation next season will definitely be a 4231, so Jordan Thomas will be utilised, mainly, as a right back, in a back 4.


Conclusion

I am a fan of this signing by Mark Cooper, I think Thomas adds brilliant depth to our right back position, bringing in quality cover for the aging Michael Smith. It is another signing which looks into the future, on a 2 year-deal so the 23 year-old is able to develop around the squad.

He may take a bit of coaching to understand the Mark Cooper style but then most signings do.

Two things that worry me about the signing of Jordan Thomas is his injury record in recent seasons and secondly his last experience at National League level for Barnet. He will have a lot of experience to help him along this time round, you couldn’t ask for anyone better than Michael Smith!

Overall, I think this signing will pay off towards the end of this coming season, into the next as Thomas is the perfect understudy to learn from Michael Smith.

What are your thoughts on the signing?


As I have previously stated, any feedback or comments are massively appreciated and taken on board. I hope you enjoyed the read, thankyou!


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Mick
1 month ago

More good work Callum. I am a little concerned that Mr Cooper has signed a couple of players now that have possible injury issues, Thomas and Jarvis (as did Hyde and Murphy last season)!!!!