Former Arsenal youngster, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (JET), has had his Aberdeen contract terminated with immediate effect.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas at Aberdeen [vai Aberdeen]
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas at Aberdeen [vai Aberdeen]
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, now 31, is without a club after his contract was terminated by Aberdeen boss, Jim Goodwin, despite having a year remaining.

The forward signed for Aberdeen last summer on a free transfer from Livingston FC, arriving promising to score more than 20 goals.

After just one goal and one assist in 23 appearances, however, the SPL side made the decision to terminate his deal.

Goodwin is believed to have had issues with the JET’s fitness levels, completely freezing him out of the matchday squad when he replaced Stephen Glass at the end of February.

There are just five games of the season remaining for Aberdeen.

A short statement on the Aberdeen website said, “The Club can this afternoon confirm it has terminated the contract of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

“The forward made 24 appearances for the Dons, making 12 starts and 12 substitute appearances and netted once.

“All at Aberdeen FC wish Jay the very best in his future career.”

Emmanuel-Thomas becomes the second former Arsenal youngster to have his contract terminated recently,.

Kelechi Nwakali had his contract terminated at SD Huesca.

What happened to Jay Emmanuel-Thomas?

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was captaining Arsenal’s u18s when he was just 16 and big things were expected of the teenage giant, but it didn’t quite work out for him at Arsenal, so what happened after he left?

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09:  Dean Bowditch of Milton Keynes Dons is congratulated by team mate Jay Emmanuel-Thomas after scoring his sides goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Milton Keynes Dons and Middlesbrough at StadiumMK on February 9, 2016 in Milton Keynes, England.  (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 09: Dean Bowditch of Milton Keynes Dons is congratulated by team mate Jay Emmanuel-Thomas after scoring his sides goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Milton Keynes Dons and Middlesbrough at StadiumMK on February 9, 2016 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is now 31 with 12 clubs on his footballing CV but the man from Forest Gate in London seemed to have found a home in Scotland, signing in May 2021 on a two-year deal with Aberdeen.

That, as you have just read, didn’t quite work out to plan.

The forward has found the net 91 times in his career so far, with 58 assists in 362 appearances, and he would have been hoping to build on the nine goals and three assists he registered for Livingston which prompted The Dons to sign him on a free contract.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas at Arsenal

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 26: (L-R) Arsenals Jack Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Sanchez Watt celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup during the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final sponsored by E.ON, between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on May 26, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 26: (L-R) Arsenals Jack Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Sanchez Watt celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup during the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final sponsored by E.ON, between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on May 26, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

While at Arsenal, JET played just six times for the first team without scoring a goal or registering assist.

Emmanuel-Thomas’s hulking size meant he was a youth player who always stuck in the minds of fans. His 13 goals in 13 games for the Arsenal u23s and helping the youngsters win the FA Youth League and Cup Double didn’t hurt, either.

His raw power, pace and close control spoke of a player just waiting to burst free and he was handed his first-team debut against Stoke in 2010 in an FA Cup game Arsenal lost. He had just turned 19.

Just one of Emmanuel-Thomas’s appearances for Arsenal came in a Premier League match (nine minutes against Chelsea) but he also played in the Champions League, Arsene Wenger handing him eight minutes against Shakhtar Donetsk.

By that stage, JET had already spent time on loan with Blackpool, making 12 appearances and scoring 1, and loans would become the main feature of his remaining time at the club he joined when he was just eight-years-old.

He went to Doncaster (14 appearances, 5 goals, 4 assists) and Cardiff (16 appearances, 2 goals, 3 assists) before being sold to Ipswich for £1.13m in 2011.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas after leaving Arsenal

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas 9 of Livingston battles for possession, tussles, tackles, challenges, during the Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Aberdeen at Tony Macaroni Arena, Livingstone, Scotland on 1 May 2021. Livingstone Tony Macaroni Arena West Lothian Scotland Editorial use only , Copyright: Stephen Dobson
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas 9 of Livingston battles for possession, tussles, tackles, challenges, during the Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Aberdeen at Tony Macaroni Arena, Livingstone, Scotland on 1 May 2021. Livingstone Tony Macaroni Arena West Lothian Scotland Editorial use only , Copyright: Stephen Dobson

Since leaving Arsenal, JET has not spent more than two years at any one club.

From Ipswich he went to Bristol City, then Cardiff, MK Dons, and Gillingham before heading to Thailand to play for PTT Rayong, where he managed just one goal and three assists in 12 games.

The former Arsenal youngster then spent over a year without a club before signing for Livingston in September 2020 on a short-term deal that saw him net nine and assist three in 31 games (averaging 60 minutes per game).

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was perhaps one of the most gifted from the 2009 crew but he never quite hit the heights we all thought he was capable of.

The rangy attacking midfielder was blessed with skill, stamina, pace and an unusual versatility that saw him play in a variety of positions from centre back to centre forward.

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