Luke Thomas: Cheltenham's Gary Johnson keen to keep striker

Cheltenham Town
Cheltenham Town are top of the National League table

Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson says he is in no rush to sell highly-rated teenage striker Luke Thomas.

Thomas, 16, has been attracting the interest of several clubs but Johnson believes Cheltenham is the best place for him to develop.

"Southampton's name has been mentioned but a lot of other clubs have expressed an interest," Johnson told BBC Gloucestershire.

"Many clubs want him to train with them but we think he is better off with us."

Johnson added: "We are giving him what he needs and let him have 50 games in the first team and then see what he's worth because at the moment he's still learning his trade.

"We want to teach him his trade and we think we can."

Thomas has been involved with the first-team this season and Johnson says he is improving rapidly, and added that certain first-team rituals are having a maturing effect on the youngster.

"It's definitely helping him, he's definitely got more of an all-round game in possession and out of possession," said Johnson.

"He's our player. He enjoys training with us and the first team, he's loved being on the bench.

"He's handled all the things you have to handle as a newbie in the first team, like singing at dinner. That's an experience I wouldn't put on my worst enemy, so all of a sudden they grow up a little."

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