Hatters boss admits Pereira's 'puzzling' injury problems during his time away from Luton are a cause for concern

Town attacker Dion Pereira during Luton's pre-season campaignTown attacker Dion Pereira during Luton's pre-season campaign
Town attacker Dion Pereira during Luton's pre-season campaign
Attacker yet to feature for Bradford this season

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has been left baffled by Dion Pereira’s injury problems during his time away from Kenilworth Road on loan.

The 22-year-old, who was signed on a development contract back in November 2020, making it into a pro deal in the summer, headed out to Yeovil Town back in November 2021, but only played once, before swiftly returning to Kenilworth Road again.

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He then went out to League Two Bradford City last month, but hasn’t featured for the Bantams, who sacked manager Derek Adams this week, due to a calf problem.

The fact that the former Watford and Atlanta United youngster has been fully fit while at Kenilworth Road, means Jones can‘t quite his head around his issues when moving away, although he hopes that with under three months of the season to go, Pereira will still get an opportunity to make his time at the Utilita Energy Stadium a worthwhile one.

Speaking this afternoon, the Town manager said: "It’s really phenomenal because if I’m honest, Dion has never been injured at our football club.

"Then he went on loan, got injured the first day at Yeovil, then came back, trained fully with us, then went to Bradford and got injured on the second day.

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"It’s quite phenomenal, I don’t know what it is, but quite phenomenal how that has happened.

"It’s frustrating as it’s an opportunity, Bradford are a wonderful club and we wanted him to go there and really impact and give Derek a real boost.

"It hasn’t quite worked out like that, but there’s still 10, 12, 14, 15 games left of the season, so we hope that he does get that time and those minutes that give him that opportunity.”

Should the injury worries keep occurring for Pereira, who has made two first team appearances for the Hatters since joining, then Jones thinks they will have to look deeper into what is causing the problems.

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He added: “He's only done a calf, but done it twice really, and that’s the really strange thing as he’s never injured here.

"There’s not many that train with more intensity than us, it’s just really puzzling.

"If that was to happen again for example, then we will have to really look into something, because it’s a lot of things that could cause that, not just a training session.

“We have to look at everything, it’s not just he’s a real talent, you have to work at certain stuff.

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"It’s a learning curve about going out on loan for example, as when he went down to Yeovil, he travelled down to Yeovil and then trained straight after.

“With me with my experience, if I’m going on loan and it’s three and a half hours away, I’m going down the night before, getting up, stretching, making sure I have good food, plenty of water and I’m ready to go on that day.

"So those things are learning curves for him and that’s what a career is all about.”