Crystal Palace Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of winger Jerome Thomas.
The former Arsenal and Charlton player has penned a two-year contract with the club, after manager Ian Holloway moved to snap him up on a free transfer.
Thomas attracted interest from a number of clubs after leaving West Bromwich Albion as a free agent, following four seasons at The Hawthorns.
But the experienced midfielder has opted to join Palace, after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms. He has now joined up with his new teammates at a training camp in Portugal.
The 30-year-old came through the ranks at Arsenal as a youngster but was unable to make the step up into the first team, spending two spells on loan at Queens Park Rangers.
Thomas eventually left the Gunners in January 2004 to join Charlton Athletic, where he made more than 100 appearances in six seasons under Alan Curbishley and former Eagles defender Alan Pardew.
Following Charlton’s relegation from the Premier League, Thomas joined FA Cup holder Portsmouth in August 2008 on a season-long loan deal.
He made his debut in a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea, before making the deal permanent just six days later.
Thomas was released by the south-coast club in July 2009 and, following trials with a number of clubs including Hull and Wolves, the winger joined West Brom on a free transfer.
He played more than 100 games for the Midlands outfit, becoming a key part of the side that won promotion to the Premier League in May 2010.
Thomas went on to feature regularly for the Baggies as they consolidated their place in English football’s top flight, but was sent out on loan to Championship side Leeds United for a month last season.
During that time he lined up against Palace on his debut, putting in a man-of-the-match performance as Leeds won 2-1.
He returned to West Brom in December, featuring for Steve Clarke’s side on 12 occasions as they finished 8th in the Premier League.
Thomas revealed that manager Ian Holloway was influential in his move to SE25. He told cpfc.co.uk: “It was a case of me being on a free and weighing up my options. I wanted to stay at the top level, which is obviously the Premier League.
“I heard of Crystal Palace’s interest from January actually, and once they got promoted Ollie gave me a call when I was away on holiday, we had a good talk for about 45 minutes and after that conversation there wasn’t much doubt in my mind where I wanted to go.
“I saw them throughout the season and watched the play-offs. Like I said, Ollie’s the main factor, but obviously there’s a lot of talent here and him and the chairman are planning on bringing in more. It shows what their goals are and I’m definitely looking forward to it.
“I hope I can bring a lot to the team. I’ve got experience of the Premier League and the gaffer’s going to give me the freedom to play how I want to play - my attacking game - which I haven’t been able to do for the last couple of seasons. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Check out Palace Player later in the week for an in-depth video interview with Jerome Thomas, plus more behind-the-scenes footage from the Portugal training camp.
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