Emmanuel-Thomas: Why I had to leave Arsenal

Striker Jay, 20, calls time on his Emirates career and moves to Ipswich

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has revealed he could not wait any longer for a chance at Arsenal after deciding to quit the Emirates for Ipswich Town.

The 20-year-old striker joined the Tractor Boys for a fee of around �1m, having started just once for the Arsenal first team in three years as a professional at the club.

“Obviously it came to the stage in my career at Arsenal where I needed to be playing games,” said Emmanuel-Thomas after signing a three-year deal with the Suffolk club on Tuesday.

“I had a decision to make and Ipswich seemed the right place for me.

“I know Paul Jewell is looking to bring in more players and it’s the club’s ambition to get in the Premier League. That’s my goal as well, to play in the Premier League with Ipswich.”

Emmanuel-Thomas had been with Arsenal since the age of eight, and captained the Under-18s to Youth Cup glory in 2009, alongside current first-team star Jack Wilshere.

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But after loan spells in the past two seasons at Blackpool, Doncaster Rovers and then Cardiff City earlier this year, the striker has failed to add to his debut first-team start for the Gunners which came in a 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Stoke in January 2010.

He added: “I had a good time at Arsenal and I’m going to miss all the boys but my future is about me and I needed to move on.”