Ipswich Town: Dominic Thompson profile after Brentford loan

Ipswich Town have signed left-back Dominic Thompson on loan from Brentford until the end of the season. Andy Warren portrays the latest arrival from the Blues.

Top notch education

Born in Willesden, north-west London, the new Town signing grew up in a sporting family, with his father Neville and brother Greg both competing internationally on the discus.

Football was Thompson’s calling, however, and he joined Arsenal’s academy in 2012 while still in primary school, initially starting his time there as a central midfielder.

However, left-back soon became his position and he progressed through the Gunners’ youth system to earn a professional contract in June 2018.

Dominic Thompson (right) came through the Arsenal youth system
– Credit: PA

Progress continued at the Emirates, with the defender forming part of a talented youth squad which included Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith-Rowe, who worked together from Under-18s to Under-23s .

Thompson was an unused substitute in all four of the Gunners’ EFL Trophy games in the first half of the 2018/19 season, managed by boss Freddie Ljungberg, while he was also a traveling reserve for what turned out to be a dead rubber Europa League game against Vorskla. Poltava from Ukraine. He didn’t make the bench, but the experience will certainly have been positive.

He featured in first-team friendlies against France’s Angers, Colorado Rapids and Fiorentina in the summer of 2019, alongside Mesut Ozil, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Grant Xhaka, but that’s where his Arsenal run ended. is finally over.

A new journey

Before the start of the 2019/20 campaign, Thompson was sold to Brentford in a deal believed to be between £1m and £3m, depending on which report you read.

He signed for three years at Griffin Park, at a time when the Bees were seeking promotion to the Premier League.

He said at the time: “Brentford are a great club, play good football and after a good pre-season with Arsenal I was like ‘wow, this is a good opportunity’.

“The style of play here suits me. I grew up as a midfielder and later became a left-back, so I’m calm, brave and comfortable on the ball and aware of my surroundings. I have good versatility.

“I like to work hard defensively and I take it personally if someone passes me. I don’t like to let that happen very much. But if the situation is ready, I also like to help in attack.

“I want to settle in quickly and make an impact on the team as quickly as possible.”

Sitting behind Rico Henry in the Brentford pecking order, the teenager Thompson was unable to break into the squad as quickly as he would have liked, making just 12 appearances for the Bees in his first two seasons at the club.

But Thomas Frank knew he had a talented player on his hands.

learning curve

A loan move to Swindon in January 2021 gave Thompson the platform to play consistent senior football for the first time.

And it couldn’t have started better, making his debut for the Robins and playing a vital role in their 3-2 win over Paul Lambert’s men at Portman Road. He was the visitors’ star player, directly assisting their opening two goals before playing a part in the build-up to the third winner.

“It was a dream start,” he said after the game. “I think the only things missing were a goal and a clean sheet.

Doncaster Rovers' Bradley Halliday (left) and Swindon Town's Dominic Thompson battle for the ball from the

Thompson, pictured while on loan at Swindon Town
– Credit: PA

“On an individual level, I haven’t enjoyed football the way I have in this game for a very, very long time – probably since playing with my friends.

“The confidence I felt in this game with every touch.

“One pass was a very good ball, if I say so myself, but the other two were good strikes from my teammates who gave me two more assists. It was an incredible feeling.

He was a regular for the rest of the season, making 25 appearances in total but never hitting debut highs again. There is a feeling among Swindon supporters that this was due to the team’s negative tactics under manager John Sheridan, rather than Thompson’s performances.

He has been used at left-back and also in more advanced roles by Sheridan, which is perhaps a glimpse of what he can offer at Ipswich.

At the end of his loan spell at Swindon, Thompson said: “I think I learned a lot about how to handle games in certain situations.

“Sometimes you have to do the wrong side of the game a lot more, especially if you’re in the position we were in and have been in since I’ve been here.

“Sometimes, from an individual point of view, I may have tried to play too much or do things that didn’t fit the context of the game.

“So I have to rely on my game management, and even on communication. I have to try to be a leader there.

“If the pitch gets a bit quiet, I can turn things around and stop any further issues. That comes from being a leader, and it doesn’t matter how old you are.

Thompson returned to Brentford this summer as his club prepare for their first season in the Premier League.

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus (left) and Brentford's Dominic Thompson battle for the ball during t

Thompson, pictured battling Raheem Sterling, was Brentford’s man of the match against Manchester City in late December
– Credit: PA

Make a dream come true

Thompson grew up dreaming of making his Premier League debut in an Arsenal shirt, having supported the Gunners as a child despite his father’s desire for him to follow Chelsea.

But he fulfilled his dream in a Brentford shirt at the end of December, starting games with Brighton and Manchester City and being named man of the match in the second.

He has also made three cup appearances for Brentford this season, with his side scoring a total of 14 goals in those games.

He still clearly has a role to play at the Premier League club, but a desire for regular football from him and the club saw him move to Ipswich.

Prior to the loan, Brentford took up their option to extend Thompson’s contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Brentford director of football Phil Giles said: “Dom has done well for us in the minutes he has played so far this season, especially in our home game against Manchester City.

“Unfortunately he hasn’t played as much as I’m sure he would have liked, so a loan to a good club like Ipswich is an ideal solution.

“We look forward to welcoming him back this summer, having extended his contract for a further year.”

Ipswich Town have signed Dominic Thompson on loan from Brentford for the rest of the season

Ipswich Town have signed Dominic Thompson on loan from Brentford for the rest of the season
– Credit: ITFC

City Cup

So where does it fit in Town?

Well, boss Kieran McKenna has explained how well Thompson’s attributes fit into the Blues’ 3-4-3 system, with the Brentford loanee able to offer defensive qualities and attacking threat with good balance .

Wes Burns is a stuck starter on the right, but the Blues still need an answer on the left.

He trained with his new teammates for the first time on Friday morning and, with Matt Penney and Hayden Coulson both returning from injury and Kane Vincent-Young suspended, he will surely be considered for an immediate start at Sheffield on Wednesday. this week-end. .

A start like Swindon’s would do just fine.

Given he grew up playing as a central midfielder, he could also provide cover there as the Blues look to secure Idris El Mizouni and Rekeem Harper on loan before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Does he also have the qualities to serve as cover on the left side of McKenna’s central defensive three?

Janoi Donacien, a natural right-back, has taken to his new role on the right of this trio like a duck to water.

Thompson seems to have the tools to do the same on the left if necessary.

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