Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass is confident Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ imagination and vision can unlock Premiership defences.
Having been frozen out for almost three months Emannuel-Thomas has forced his way back into Glass’ starting XI.
The 30-year-old summer signing, aka JET, played a key role in Aberdeen’s recent revival by starting in back-to-back wins.
Glass insists JET has qualities which set him apart from many other players.
He believes his unique creativity brings an extra dimension to an Aberdeen attack that is now beginning to click and deliver goals.
Glass said: “Jay is creative and has an imagination that not many other players have.
“He also has the ability to execute it.
“I think there are times when he can release players and he can frustrate players.
“I’m delighted with him.”
One of England’s hottest talentsJET scored nine times for Livingston last season and was signed by Glass on a two-year contract in the summer.
As a teenager, the attacker emerged through the youth ranks at Premier League giants Arsenal and was viewed as one of the hottest talents in England.
JET won the 2008-09 FA Youth Cup with the Gunners and was backed to make a major impact in the English top flight.
Whilst playing under Arsene Wenger, the legendary Arsenal manager hailed JET as an ‘unbelievable finisher with outstanding quality’.
When signing JET in the summer, Glass vowed to give the attacker the platform to show his imagination, skills and creativity.
JET has started just four of the 15 Premiership games this season, with another five appearances off the bench.
He has yet to score in the Premiership, but netted a superb strike, his only goal this season so far, in the 2-1 League Cup loss at Raith Rovers on August 15.
We have lift off from JET! ✈
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) August 15, 2021
‘He has imagination and sees passes’
JET was drafted back into the starting line-up for the 2-0 defeat of Livingston and retained his place for the 4-1 defeat of St Mirren.
He delivered an assist for a Christian Ramirez goal in the defeat of St Mirren and also played a role in the build-up to another goal.
Glass accepts former Arsenal and Livingston striker JET is ‘not going to be an absolute dog’ in terms of work-rate, but insists he still does his share of graft.
And he brings a creativity and vision that the majority of players don’t possess.
Glass said: “We knew what we were getting when we brought Jay here.
“You take the rough with the smooth.
“He is not going to be an absolute dog for the team in terms of working, but he does his work.
“What he does give you is an imagination, he sees passes.
“He sees other players and he brings people into the game.
“I think his physicality in the game helped us control the ball against St Mirren when we did.”
Four-pronged attack delivering goals
Glass started a four-pronged attack against St Mirren with JET, Ryan Hedges and Marley Watkins in support of Christian Ramirez.
United States international Ramirez netted a brace to take his tally for the season to 11 goals in all competitions.
Another summer signing, Marley Watkins, also netted a double and is now on three goals for a campaign that was initially disrupted by a hamstring injury.
Aberdeen had 24 shots at goal, 11 on target, five off target and eight blocked during the emphatic defeat of St Mirren.
Despite not scoring, Welsh international attacker Ryan Hedges had six attempts at goal.
Delighted that his attackers are now gelling and causing a potent threat, Glass’ only frustration is that Aberdeen did not score more against St Mirren.
He said: “We had multiple chances. Funso Ojo had chances, Teddy Jenks as well and the keeper made a lot of saves.
“There were some really good passages of play and also one from a set-piece.
“The forward players getting on the scoresheet is great and they will both be disappointed they never scored a third.
“Hedges is disappointed he never scored a goal again.”
No fresh injury concerns for Glass
Following a six-week injury lay-off due to a hamstring injury, centre-back Declan Gallagher returned for the defeat of St Mirren as an unused substitute.
Glass is also hopeful left-back Jack MacKenzie will be available for selection for Saturday’s Premiership trip to St Johnstone.
MacKenzie has started only one of the last eight games due to an ankle injury.
Defenders Calvin Ramsy (thigh), Andy Considine (cruciate ligament) and Mikey Devlin (ankle) are still out injured as is winger Matty Kennedy (back).
For the second successive game at Pittodrie, the Dons played in difficult weather conditions with heavy rain, low temperatures and driving wind.
Glass was relieved to emerge unscathed with no further injuries.
He said: “Considering the conditions, I’m delighted to get out of there with no injuries.”