Craig Hignett admits Hartlepool United could face a fight to keep hold of Nathan Thomas.
There have been no known bids for the 21-year-old but SportMail understand there is interest in the exciting forward.
But he’s got to do it every week, he can’t do it one week then have four offCRAIG HIGNETT
Thomas has carried on this season just as he ended last term - on fire.
Saturday’s first-day opponents, Colchester United, found the former Sunderland youngster in irresistible form.
The gifted left-footer skinned full-back Richard Brindley on more than one occasion while he drew the foul which resulted in the 26th-minute Billy Paynter penalty which brought Pools a point.
With 23 days of the transfer window remaining, Pools could have their resolve tested on the Thomas front as Hignett admits, though he’s imploring the Teessider to keep playing as he is.
Scottish Premier League side Rangers were keeping close tabs on him and they could make firm their interest.
“He was a constant threat, he had the full back all day, but that’s Nathan,” said Hignett whose side face Preston North End tonight in the EFL Cup at Deepdale.
“He can be frustrating at times, but no-one in this league has got what he’s got.
“He has to be consistent, he has to do it week-in, week-out.
“If he does that, he won’t be here long.
“We know that and until that happens, we are delighted to have him.
“But he’s got to do it every week, he can’t do it one week then have four off.”
Thomas has only been at Pools for eight months, having been an inspired Ronnie Moore signing at the start of the January transfer window.
He joined for an undisclosed fee from Mansfield where he had been in and out of the side and, consequently, in and out of form.
Thomas immediately found his feet, setting up the winner on his debut for Scott Fenwick.
But his best form has come under Hignett with five stunning goals and countless assists.
He was affected by niggles in pre-season but starred against Sunderland and Scunthorpe and was the main man against the U’s on Saturday.
Given his age, his football upbringing, his skill and the fact he’s added goals to his game, not to mention the inflated prices in the market, Pools could be sitting on the proverbial gold mine.