Jones: Bakinson felt he should have been in the first team

Midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson has left Luton
Midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson has left Luton

A lack of first team opportunities for midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson was the reason behind his departure to Championship side Bristol City on deadline day, according to Luton boss Nathan Jones.

The teenager, who came through the ranks at Kenilworth Road, had become frustrated by his lack of opportunities with the Hatters, as he had only played once in the Checkatrade Trophy so far this term, with his last league appearance coming at the end of the 2015-16 campaign.

Although Jones hadn't felt Bakinson was ready for the first team yet, he was never looking to sell the youngster until it became apparent he didn't see his future with Luton.

Town's chief admitted that they managed to get the best possible deal for their young starlet from the Robins, saying: "We accepted a bid for Tyreeq. It’s a fantastic bid for the club and will enable us to develop the infrastructure, especially within the academy.

“We tried everything possible to keep Tyreeq. We’ve been turning down offers for a number of months now, but Tyreeq and his dad made it blatantly obvious that he wanted to leave the club.

“We had numerous meetings with Tyreeq, his representatives and his dad, and reiterated the development plan that we felt was right for him. He felt that he should be in the first team. We reiterated that we would give him every opportunity in pre-season to stake a claim.

“As it was, he wasn’t at the level to start the season in league games and he then made it clear that he felt his development would be better suited elsewhere, and drop into an U23 team to get the game time, because he felt he was falling behind with the quality of players that we had.

“Despite the reassurances we gave him, he was very adamant – as was his dad – that he wanted to move to an U23 team where he felt that his development would be best accomplished.

“We made a conscious decision that if he wasn’t going to impact our first team in the near future, which he wasn’t going to, and when it was blatantly clear from an attitude change from the player, we felt it was in the best interests of the club to get the best deal possible to enable us to move forward and develop the numerous players that actually want to continue their development with Luton Town.

“We wish Tyreeq all the best and hope that he has the career that we feel he would have had at Luton Town, but he felt would be easier achieved elsewhere.

“I want to reiterate from my point of view, from a coaching staff point of view and from a board, a chief exec and a club point of view, that at no point did we seek to sell the player and let one of our academy graduates go from this football club.

“But trust me on this – this move is in the best interests of Luton Town.”