Luton Town manager Nathan Jones has revealed why he didn’t sign Bristol Rovers’ Elliot Anderson.
Anderson was a deadline day signing for the Gas, signed on loan from Newcastle United on loan until the end of the season.
But the 19-year-old was also subject of interest from Championship club Luton and had been a player they had looked at a number of times, but a move failed to materialise and instead he will ply his trade in League Two with Rovers.
It has now come to light why Anderson didn’t make the move to Kennilworth Road with the Hertfordshire side instead prioritising signings that would become a prominent figure in their squad.
He was also only available on loan to the Hatters whilst Luton would have been interested in a permanent transfer.
“We’re an admirer of Elliot Anderson, but what we need to bring in now was someone that was going to improve our 11,” said Jones to Luton Today.
“With the greatest of respect, Elliot hasn’t gone out yet and over time he might have, but we just needed a little push. “So we could have had a look at him, but if there’s no opportunity of us ever buying him then it’s very difficult bringing him in on loan.”
Anderson’s transfer to Bristol Rovers is the first time that he has departed Newcastle United, albeit on a temporary basis and there is a hope from the Tyneside club that his loan will be a success for him.
On a number of occasions, there were discussions to be had between Jones, Anderson and Newcastle United over the player, highlighting that was genuine interest from Luton in the player.
Despite the move not working out and instead another club in Bristol Rovers having the benefits of a player like Anderson, Luton boss Jones wishes him well at his new club having been a long-term admirer.
“I’m delighted for him, he’s a great kid, I got to speak to him a few times, with the permission of Newcastle, a great kid, wants to play football, will do very, very well I know and will do really well at Bristol.
“So he’s someone that we liked, but probably wasn’t right in this window, that’s all.”
The attacking midfielder has mainly played under-18 and under-23’s football, captaining both of their sides, but his last appearance came back in October.
He has also got Premier League and FA Cup football under his belt, coming on as a substitute last year under manager Steve Bruce, both times against Arsenal where he held his own against experienced international players.
Anderson was also twice a substitute in two of Newcastle’s league matches back when there was a COVID outbreak in the squad, which showed that Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall rate him highly to include him in a match day squad when he was embroiled in a relegation battle.
He is expected to provide competition in the attacking midfield places, putting pressure on the likes of Antony Evans, Luke Thomas and Sam Nicholson.
The Newcastle loanee has trained well ahead of Rovers’ game with Sutton United on Saturday and could be in line to be included in the match day squad.