Luton chief excited by O'Kane's arrival from Leeds

New Town signing Eunan O'Kane
New Town signing Eunan O'Kane

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was thrilled with the acquisition of Leeds United midfielder Eunan O'Kane on loan until January yesterday.

The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international headed to Kenilworth Road from Elland Road, where he played 32 times in the Championship last season, but had yet to make an appearance this term.

Jones said: “It’s a fantastic signing for the football club. Eunan’s a wonderful player, a very good Championship level player.

“We’ve bided our time in terms of bringing another one in because we wanted to get someone we felt could significantly improve our squad.

"We didn’t just want to bring a number in, but we were waiting for real quality to become available.

“We had a number of options and Eunan was by far the best available, we felt, for how we play and what we do.

"Once we spoke to him and persuaded him that this was the right club for him, we were delighted to have him.

“He’s Championship quality and a Republic of Ireland international - it’s the calibre of player that we want to attract here. We’re excited and looking forward to working with him.”

O’Kane came through the ranks at Everton, but started his professional career with Coleraine in his native Northern Ireland.

He then spent two years with Torquay United, playing over 100 times, before joining Bournemouth in 2012 and helping the Cherries win promotion from League One to the Premier League, making 16 appearances in the top flight.

After 115 matches overall, the midfielder joined Leeds on August transfer deadline day in 2016 for an undisclosed fee and has gone on to play 58 times for the Whites.

O’Kane won caps at every age group for Northern Ireland from U16s to U21, before switching allegiances in 2012, winning five U21 and seven full international caps to his name for the Republic, his last against Mexico in June 2017.

He added: “It all happened pretty quickly yesterday.

"The first real conversation was at about one o’clock, and I was down here at half-seven to sign the papers, so it all happened relatively quickly, which was good. You don’t want these things to drag on for too long.

“It’s really good to be here. It’s nice to meet the boys and I’m looking forward to my first training session and getting going.”

O’Kane will wear squad number 32 during his time with the Hatters, and is available to play in the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.