Jones relieved Walton missed out on an England U21 call

Luton keeper Christian Walton
Luton keeper Christian Walton
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Hatters boss Nathan Jones was delighted that keeper Christian Walton wasn’t called up for England U21 duty once more last week.

The 20-year-old, who made his debut during the 5-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina at Walsall FC last month, hadn’t been included in the Three Lions squad for their matches against Italy at home on Thursday and then visit to France on Monday.

We’re kind of pleased that he’s not gone away selfishly, as that means he can concentrate on his development here.

Nathan Jones

Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford, Manchester City’s Angus Gunn and former Luton loanee Jonathan Mitchell (Derby County) were named by boss Aidy Boothroyd, although Pickford has since been called up to the full squad for their Euro qualifier with Scotland on Friday night.

Boothroyd has yet to announce whether he will bring in a replacement for Pickford and before the development, Jones said: “Praise the lord for that that he’s not involved, and I don’t mean that detrimentally as he’ll get more playing for us than training for them at the minute.

“But he’s very much in their thoughts and apart from Jordan Pickford who’s an outstanding keeper, he’s the only one playing league games, so his development is going quicker than the others.

“We’re kind of pleased that he’s not gone away selfishly, as that means he can concentrate on his development here.

“It’s much better, as to sit on an U21 bench and watch Jordan Pickford play very, very well, will be less of a development than playing for us at Accrington and away at Morecambe and so on.

“So I’m glad that his preparation hasn’t been disrupted as much by travelling all around the world even though he came back and showed an unbelievable attitude and professionalism last time.

“We’re glad, let them fight it out and he’ll be in the reckoning come the end of the season don’t you worry about that.”

Despite missing out this time, Jones believes that Walton, who has played 18 times for Luton this season. not missing a minute of league action, will definitely earn more U21 caps in the future, adding: “If he plays 40 odd games for us this season he’ll be pushing for a regular place in that squad as he’s comfortable good enough, comfortably good enough.

“Christian’s back now where I felt he was a year and a half ago, and we’re delighted with Christian.

“He’s out playing games at a club that we feel are really developing him him and taking him on from the work that Brighton have done with him.

“So he’s very much in their thoughts, but we’re glad they haven’t taken him so he can concentrate now on the games.”