If it hadn’t been for injuries, the outlook on George Thorne’s career would be somewhat different for the 27-year-old right now.
Now in his peak years, the midfielder should be gracing the Premier League or, at least, a top end Championship outfit. However, he finds himself in League One with Oxford United.
And even then, a permanent move to the Us in January this year was nearly derailed following a dislocated shoulder suffered in Oxford’s shock 4-0 win over West Ham in the Carabao Cup back in September.
Darren Ferguson recently named Thorne as one of the most talented players he had worked with during his time at Posh, and the former West Brom midfielder was credited with helping Peterborough’s resurgence in the Championship after losing the first seven league games of the 2012/13 season.
He may have made just seven appearances during his time at London Road, having been recalled by West Brom, but he will be fondly remembered as one of Posh’s more impressive loanees.
A brief spell on loan at Watford followed in 2013/14, before a switch to Derby County later in the campaign, who he’d join for a fee in the region of £2.5 – £3.5 million that summer.
A cruciate knee ligament injury during pre-season would limit him to just three appearances that campaign and would later also suffer a double leg break at the end of the following season, ruling him out in 2016/17 entirely.
Thorne would return for Derby in 2017/18 but would make only three appearances the next campaign on loan at Luton Town, before joining Oxford United in August 2019 and making that deal permanent in January.
The dislocated shoulder suffered was the most minor of Thorne’s three injury setbacks that have somewhat derailed his career.
However, should the midfielder remain injury-free from here on in, Oxford United have a very talented player on their hands who’s capable of playing far beyond his current level.
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