Hatters youngster Arthur Read has been tipped to have a bright future in the game by boss Nathan Jones after making his debut against Millwall in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening.
The teenager from Leighton Buzzard came on for the final minutes of the 3-1 defeat, becoming the 11th academy graduate to play for the first team since the Luton chief took over in January, following the likes of James Justin, Tyreeq Bakinson and Jack Snelus to name a few.
Young Arthur Read who made his debut, who’s going to be a player, I really think he’s going to be a proper player.Nathan Jones
Jones admitted he could have played his first team in the match to abide by the competition rules, but felt giving the likes of Read and Freddie Hinds further minutes, alongside Akin Famewo and Frankie Musonda, was more beneficial to the club.
He said: On the whole, the competition been excellent for us, young Arthur Read who made his debut, who’s going to be a player, I really think he’s going to be a proper player.
“If I wanted to play a load of first team players then okay, we might have won the game, but it wasn’t about that, it’s about making sure we’re all ready to play, and we’ve got a depth in the squad.
“I’ve got no problem with playing youngsters in our first team, but they’ve had a game against good opposition, so they will learn.
“They’ll be better tonight than they were when they woke up this morning, they might not feel like that now, but they will be, they’ll have a little bit more about them.
“So it’s disappointing to lose the game, but it’s not the be all and end all. The football club has moved forward since we started this EFL Trophy and we’re in a stronger place now, even after the defeat.”
Another player who got 90 minutes, his third of the competition, was keeper Craig King, as Jones added: “He’s had to be patient, he’s still a young keeper and Kev’s (Dearden) done brilliant with him.
“Because a year ago, I wouldn’t have envisaged being able to play him in these, but his development in a year has been outstanding and I think he’s done very, very well.
“He made some great saves, some good decisions, he’s been excellent in the Trophy and he’s a better keeper from having these three games.
“We could loan him out, but these are better games than him just being loaned out.”