Jones not surprised by Bell's impressive start at Luton ahead of defender's return to Ewood Park

Full back an ever-present for the Hatters so far

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 8:14 am
Updated Saturday, 11th September 2021, 8:16 am
Summer signing Amari'i Bell

Town chief Nathan Jones hasn’t been surprised by the impact recent addition Amari’i Bell has had since joining the Hatters ahead of his return to Ewood Park this afternoon.

The 27-year-old spent just over three years with Blackburn Rovers, joining them from Fleetwood in January 2018 on loan, helping Tony Mowbray's side bounce straight back to the Championship from League One.

He signed permanently that summer, going on to feature 99 times in total, scoring three goals, before being released in June and was quickly snapped up by Luton.

With Dan Potts suffering an injury in the final pre-season friendly, despite missing a large chunk of training due to his involvement in the Gold Cup with Jamaica, Bell was then thrust straight into the side for the opening day 3-0 win over Peterborough.

He has swiftly settled into his new surroundings too, opening his account with the winner at Barnsley, while becoming an important and ever-present part of a back-line who have kept three clean sheets from five matches.

It hasn’t come as a shock to Jones as the manager has been a long-time admirer of the former Birmingham City youngster, saying: “We’re happy with his start.

“There’s plenty more to come, he’s still got to develop, there’s still parts of his game that we’d like to be more fruitful, but we knew what we were getting.

“I researched Amari’i a year before he came here.

“He was on my list but we didn’t think we could get him.

"Then we took a loan, we took Rhys Norrington-Davies (from Sheffield United), but then he became available and we went for him and got him.

“It’s no surprise, Amari’i has given us what we felt.

“In six months’ time we’d like to be sitting here and saying, ‘wow, he’s one of the best attacking full-backs in the league’, and then we’d have done our job, because that’s the level that we’ve got to get.

“The base product can achieve that. It’s then the work. We love him here.”