Emmanuel-Thomas turned professional with Arsenal in 2008, having captained their under-18s team at the age of 16 and playing an integral role in their 2008/09 FA Youth Cup victory. Having been on the north London club’s books since the age of eight, he made his first-team debut in January 2010, in an FA Cup fixture against Stoke City.
This appearance followed a loan spell with Blackpool, and further short-term stints at Doncaster Rovers (five goals in 14 appearances) and Cardiff City attracted the attention of Ipswich Town, for whom he signed in July 2011. He scored his first goal for the Tractor Boys in a 2-1 League Cup defeat to Northampton a month after signing, but only found the net eight more times after that, and started just 43 games in two years at Portman Road.
Two successful seasons at Bristol City saw Emmanuel-Thomas score 33 times in 103 games, and he won the League One title and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with the West Country club in the space of two months in 2015.
Last season, Emmanuel-Thomas made 15 appearances for QPR, scoring five goals, and struck another four times during a loan spell at MK Dons. He joined the Gills on a season-long loan in August 2016.