New signing Luke Thomas is eager to get started at Barnsley

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BARNSLEY have completed their second signing of the close-season after bringing in highly-rated Derby County winger Luke Thomas for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old, who enjoyed a successful loan spell in League One at Coventry City last term, has penned a long-term four-year deal.

The Gloucestershire-born player scored five times in 44 appearances for the Sky Blues, including a fine strike in the 2-2 draw at Oakwell in the Spring.

On joining the Reds, Thomas said: “I am very excited to join a club like Barnsley. It is a young, talented side and they proved that last season when they got promoted, so I am very happy to be here and, hopefully, I can bring something new to the team.

“I thought Barnsley were probably the best team in the division (League One); they are very hard-working and can keep the ball very well, and it is a team that I will love to play in.”

Cheltenham Town are entitled to 15 per cent of the fee after bringing Thomas through the ranks before selling him to the Rams when he was 16 in January 2016.

Thomas found opportunities hard to come by at Pride Park and made just two brief substitute appearances against QPR and Bolton Wanderers – despite being handed a four-year deal last summer.

Bristol City were also linked with a summer move for the pacey winger. 

Thomas’s arrival follows on from the earlier addition of Mike-Steven Bahre following a successful loan.

Meanwhile, Barnsley have confirmed that goalkeeping coach John Vaughan has left the club.

Bradford City have beaten off competition from England and Scotland to sign Dunfermline Athletic defender Jackson Longridge, their fifth close-season recruit.

The left-back, 24, has agreed a two-year contract, having previously played north of the border with Livingston, Stranraer and Ayr United.

Longridge said: “After speaking with the manager, he has made it clear I am the kind of player he is looking for.

“He has given me a chance I am very grateful for. It is up to me now to prove him right.”

Bantams chief Gary Bowyer added: “We are delighted to bring Jacko here. He attracted a lot of interest – both in Scotland and England. At 24 years old he has a lot of experience. He is a modern-day full-back, who loves to get forward.”