Leicester City youngster George Thomas is reportedly in line for promotion to the Foxes first-team after manager Claude Puel has apparently been impressed with the player's performances for the club's U23 team this season.
According to journalist Jack Pitt-Brooke, Thomas was in line for a possible loan move in January, with Championship side Sunderland seemingly the most likely destination.
George Thomas (Coventry City Wembley hero) had been lined up by Leicester City for a loan in January, with Sunderland likeliest. But I'm told he's done so well for Leicester U23s that Claude Puel is now thinking of promoting him to 1st team.— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) December 4, 2017
However, having joined Leicester from Coventry City in the summer, the 20-year-old has seemingly made strong enough progress to merit a chance in the senior squad instead.
Leicester Under-23 manager Steve Beaglehole hinted to the Leicester Mercury last month that while a loan was more imminently on the cards, a promotion to first-team action would not actually come as a surprise if Thomas maintained his form.
"The next step for him in January will be to go out on loan or, who knows, if he keeps making the impact he is making, being in and around the first team," Beaglehole said at the time.
The same Mercury report noted that former Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare had regularly been checking on the progress of the club's U23 side, something that has continued since Frenchman Claude Puel took charge following Shakespeare's dismissal.
Puel has a strong reputation when it comes to young players. Prior to being named head coach at Monaco in 1999, he managed the club's reserve side and has had an eye on youth development wherever he has been since, famously handing a 16-year-old Eden Hazard his senior debut at Lille back in 2007.