Hatters chief frustrated as Norrington-Davies cuts Luton loan short to head to Stoke

Jones felt Wales international defender was developing well at Kenilworth Road

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 10:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 10:42 pm
Rhys Norrington-Davies in action for Luton during his loan spell

Luton boss Nathan Jones couldn't hide his frustration after Sheffield United defender Rhys Norrington-Davies was recalled by the Blades this morning.

The 22-year-old headed back to Bramall Lane club earlier on today, before being promptly sent out to fellow Championship side Stoke City, the move becoming official during Town’s 2-0 defeat to QPR.

On Norrington-Davies' departure ahead of schedule, with the Wales international meant to be remaining at Kenilworth Road for the season, Jones said: “It’s a very difficult one as first of all I want to thank Sheffield United and Chris (Wilder) for trusting us with him, but these things happen, that’s what happens with loans.

“You're always at the mercy of someone else when you take a loan, you’re not in control of that player and that’s what we don’t like.

“We only take loans in exceptional circumstances and we felt that these two (Norrington-Davies and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall) were really worth doing as they're fantastic players and really did improve us, but we’re at the beck and call of someone else really.

“Rhys was in a wonderful place and that's the frustrating thing.

“You think ‘why do people go out on loan?’ One to get experience, two if they go to the right club, they get educated, they improve, and then they come back to the parent club fold a better asset, a better player and more ready for the first team.

“The rate that Rhys was developing was phenomenal here and still learning, because he’s got a lot to learn.

“So it's disappointing, but some things are out of your hands and some things are not purely the parent club’s choice as well.

“There's no point now crying about it, we move on as we’re not a one man team.

“We’re not going to suddenly be polar opposite to what we normally are because we lost Rhys Norrington-Davies, we’ve enhanced his career no end, so let's not forget that, but we move on.”

Speaking to the Potters website, Norrington-Davies said of his decision to leave Luton and join Stoke: "I’ve got big ambitions – I want to become a Premier League player and I feel like this is a stepping stone from where I was.

"I don’t mean any disrespect to Luton whatsoever because they are a great club but I just feel this is the best move for me at this time, coming into this system of 4-3-3."

Reacting to the comments, Jones added: “He’s playing in a 4-3-3 here, he’s developing, he gets worked, he’s educated, if he wanted to go to Stoke, that’s his choice.

“Without being disrespectful, the boy has gone through the roof here, in terms of his education, so if he thinks it's going to be better development there, then that’s certainly his choice.

“I’ve made similar choices and whether they were right or wrong, I can't cane him for it.

“Whatever system he prefers to play in, he was playing here, he's played as a left back or a wing back for us here and done very well for us, and we've done very well for him.

“I’m not too sure on the logic of that, I haven't read the story, but we wish him well.

“We knew there's always that threat when you take a loan signing as well, and that's why we don't like it.

“He’s done well for us, we've done well for him, so let's shake hands, move on, and go on to the next one.”