Hatters secure signing of Palace midfielder Gray

Luton Town have confirmed the permanent signing of Crystal Palace midfielder Jake Gray on a twop year deal.

Monday, 1st August 2016, 5:06 pm
Updated Monday, 1st August 2016, 6:10 pm

The 20-year-old arrives at Kenilworth Road on an initial free transfer although the Premier League side have inserted a sell-on clause should he be sold in the future.

Gray spent six months on loan in Sky Bet League Two with Hartlepool last season, and on acquiring the youngster, boss Nathan Jones told the club’s official website: “We watched Jake a lot last year. Mick Harford went up to keep an eye on him at Hartlepool and he did really well for them.

“We identified our targets really early and Jake is one that we’ve been chasing since April.

“It’s taken some time. There was a lot to get over the line, but it’s been worth it because we’ve completed our squad now and I’m sure Jake will prove an excellent signing for the club.

“There were a number of clubs that showed an interest in him. We initially thought we might get him on loan, but when we knew that Palace were willing to do something permanent, we jumped at the chance.

“He ticks all the boxes for us and fits into the criteria for players we want to bring to Luton. We are delighted to have him.”

Gray began his career as a schoolboy with Wycombe, before Palace signed him in the summer of 2012 when the Chairboys closed their academy.

He made his debut for the Eagles in a League Cup tie against Walsall in August 2014, but his Football League debut came after joining Cheltenham Town on loan in January 2015, a 1-1 draw against the Hatters at Whaddon Road.

Gray made four appearances for the Robins before returning to Selhurst Park, but gained League Two experience on loan at Hartlepool, where he scored six goals in 30 starts and three substitute appearances last term.

The new signing himself added: “It feels great to be here. I’m delighted to get it done and I’m looking forward to pulling on the Luton Town shirt.

“Nathan showed me the plans for the club with the new training ground, and he said how good it was to play in front of these fans – how it’s always packed.

“He’s got a lot of good plans for the club and he showed me how he wants me to play. It really opened my eyes to think this is the right place for me.”