Date:Saturday August 4 2007
Charlton boss Alan Pardew is intent on keeping England Under-21 midfielder Jerome Thomas at The Valley.
The club are believed to have been approached by newly-promoted Premiership club Derby County, who are thought to have bid £3million for the winger.
Pardew has already declared that he is not under pressure to sell any more players despite the club's relegation. Already the club have had to make plenty of changes and show a lot of last seasons playing squad the door.
Pardew has this time made it clear that the enigmatic 24-year-old Thomas has a big future at the club.
Pardew said: 'I believe that Jerome needs a great season under his belt because there have been a lot of seasons when he's been in, out, done a bit, had a couple of great games, but not a season of sustained form.
'If he does that then a new contract will be coming his way from us very quickly.
'The final judgement on this issue rest with me and nobody else. If he goes, then it will be for a very good reason.'
Like any player Thomas has his price and the club will only sell when they can't afford to turn a deal down. Thomas though has been a frustrating player to watch. He has flashes of brilliance and can win us a game when he`s playing well but he does go missing in games and Pardew feels a decent season in The Championship could make Thomas the complete player and a Valley legend.
Personally I hope he stays as I believe he will be the leagues best winger by far. The new strikers will score goals but they need the service and Thomas is the man to provide it.
If we sell all our better players we are just making ourselves into an average side that can play in The Championship. An average Championship side will not survive in The Premiership and we need a team to return there and stay!
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