Hatters boss not looking at signing free agents as he keeps Premier League squad place open for Town defender Lockyer

Luton chief names 24-man squad for the remainder of the season
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Luton boss Rob Edwards has ruled out making a move in the free transfer market after leaving a space open in the Hatters' Premier League squad for the possible return of defender Tom Lockyer.

The 29-year-old is continuing to recover from the on-field cardiac arrest he suffered at AFC Bournemouth on December 16, making his first return to the training ground last week and then an emotional outing at Kenilworth Road ahead of Town’s stunning 4-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion as well, thanking supporters on social media for their ‘emotional’ ovation before kick-off. With the transfer window now shut for another season, the 20 top flight clubs had to submit their 25-man squads to the Premier League for the rest of the campaign, and they did so yesterday, Luton naming 24 players, with Lockyer missing out, as did the recalled pair of Fred Onyedinma and Elliot Thorpe.

Although Town could still sign a player currently without a club, when asked today if the extra space meant it was something that Edwards would be looking to do, he said: “No, it doesn’t. It’s all about Tom to be honest at the moment. We didn’t want to name him to put unnecessary pressure on him and then we’ve got loads of questions to answer as well, and then I didn’t then not want to include him either. It's a little bit more around his progression physically, which there’s no pressure on at all.

Hatters boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam SmithHatters boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith
Hatters boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith

"It’s the rehab now which could take a while, but also around mentally and just making sure he’s part of it and involved as well. So we’ve actually got a little bit more time, maybe until next month in March to put him in or not and he’s cool with it. I've spoken to Tom and there’s no pressure from him, he’s fine, his dad as well, so they understand the situation as well.”

Midfielder Marvelous Nakamba was also included in the 24 players despite suffering a serious knee injury that Edwards has stated will keep him out for ‘months’, With 16 matches to go, the Town chief is keeping everything crossed the Zimbabwe international can play a part in the latter stages of the campaign, adding: “I’m really hopeful with Marv. Again, it’s going to be longer term but we’ve got to try and give him every opportunity we can.”