Luton Town

Luton Town

Championship

Luton unexpectedly sign former Chelsea flop as new arrival explains surprise transfer choice

Ross Barkley (pic via Luton Town)

Ross Barkley (pic via Luton Town)

Ross Barkley has joined Luton Town on a free transfer after his one-year spell in France with Nice.

Barkley previously played in the Premier League for Everton, Chelsea and Aston Villa – as well as Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United in the Championship – and has now secured his return to English football with play-off winners Luton. The length of his contract at Kenilworth Road has not yet been announced.

It is a surprise move for the 29-year-old, who TEAMtalk understood was also of interest to Middlesbrough in the Championship.

Explaining his choice of destination, Barkley told his new club’s official website: “Why Luton? Going from the Conference to the Premier League is a great story and for me personally to be back in the Premier League, it’s great motivation.

“I’m still relatively young and over the last couple of years I’ve not played as much as I’d have liked.

“But I’ve reserved a lot of energy and looked after myself, so it’s great to be here now as I’ve got a lot to show but I’m ready and feeling motivated.”

Luton manager Rob Edwards added: “Ross brings loads of experience at the top level, has international experience and brings an x-factor.

“He gives us something different, he has that ability to make something out of nothing and we need that in the Premier League. He’s got all the tools required to make a difference for us.

“It’s really exciting for the football club. We want the fans to be excited and they should be about Ross’ arrival.”

Ross Barkley waiting for international clearance

Because Barkley was playing in France last season, his move is subject to international clearance, even though he has 33 England caps to his name.

However, Luton hope to have him available for their highly anticipated Premier League opener against Brighton on Saturday.

They have confirmed that Barkley has been assigned the number six shirt.

He is their seventh permanent signing since promotion after Chiedozie Ogbene, Mads Andersen, Tahith Chong, Marvelous Nakamba, Ryan Giles and Thomas Kaminski. In addition, Issa Kabore has joined on loan from Manchester City.

There have also been claims that Luton have had an offer accepted to take Hannibal Mejbri on loan from Man Utd to play in similar territory to Barkley.