Luton chief would love to make Toon youngster’s stay a permanent one

Hatters midfielder Alex Gilliead

Hatters midfielder Alex Gilliead

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Hatters boss Nathan Jones would love to add Newcastle United midfielder Alex Gilliead to his squad on a permanent basis if the chance arises.

The Luton chief is a long-time admirer of Gilliead, having wanted to bring him to Kenilworth Road last season, before agreeing a loan deal until January this term.

It’s a little bit early but we’d love to have him in our ranks permanently.

Nathan Jones

When asked if he had contacted the Magpies about anything long-term, Jones said: “It’s a little bit early but we’d love to have him in our ranks permanently.

“That’s the type of player he is, that’s the type of player we look for.

“But let’s let the boy settle, let him continue his development and I’m sure Newcastle are delighted with how he’s playing, the performances he’s putting in. “I believe he’s going to be a thoroughbred player, I believe he’s going to be a Premier League player.

“It’s about development though. We believe we’ve got a good environment here, and we give him a platform to play.

“Hopefully he enjoys training, he’s learning because he’s going to be a fine young player, but that will come in time.”

Gilliead himself admitted his future hadn’t been discussed yet with his parent club, as he said: “I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to speak to Newcastle to see what they want me to do, because I’m their player.

“I’ve been in contact with Nathan and Luton and I’ll just decide when the time comes and when we’re all happy to sit down and talk about it.

“I speak to one of the U21 coaches quite a bit. He’s always messaging me, asking how I’m doing and keeping on top of it.

“He talks a lot to other coaches throughout the league and just gets to know what I’ve been doing.”

After signing the 20-year-old on deadline day, Gilliead has had to wait patiently for his chance, only starting once in the league during his first month at Kenilworth Road.

It was something that Jones knew might happen though, saying: “He was impatient and wanted to play, but he missed pre-season, so that’s why it has taken time to integrate him and pop him in.”

Gilliead himself admitted there had been a level of frustration when having to wait for his opportunity, but that Jones had explained that was going to be the case.

He continued: “When I first came and I wasn’t playing I just had to keep my head down and show, in training and when I came on, what I can do.

“I’ve come to be playing games so I’m over the moon to be playing.

“Coming into a team that I think was top of the league when I came, I wasn’t expecting to go straight in.

“The manager spoke to me and said ‘it’s going to be a bit of a frustrating time for you, but just keep your head.’

“I just had to keep my head down in training, get on with it and just force my way into the team and I’m delighted to be in the starting 11.”