Jones is hoping to sign Shinnie permanently

Hatters midfielder Andrew Shinnie in action against Newcastle United earlier in the season
Hatters midfielder Andrew Shinnie in action against Newcastle United earlier in the season

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has confirmed he would like to make midfielder Andrew Shinnie’s loan move to Luton a permanent one next season.

The 28-year-old’s stay at Kenilworth Road from Championship side Birmingham City is up at the end of the campaign, with the former Scottish international then out of contract at St Andrew’s.

We were looking at Shinnie when I was at Brighton, we were looking for Championship players, so we believe in him.

Nathan JOnes

However, Shinnie, who has made 34 appearances, scoring three goals, has not started a game for Town since the 2-1 defeat at Colchester on March 30 and has missed out on the match day squad in recent weeks.

Despite that, when asked if he was hoping to bring him in next year, Jones said: “Yes, 100 per cent. The players near enough know, there’s a few out of contract ones we have to speak to about moving forward and so on, but I’ve already spoken to Andrew Shinnie and we’d like to.

“He’s one that we rate, one that’s done fantastically well and I speak to Shins regularly because he’s been a bit down lately.

“But I’ve been in promotion winning teams where I’ve played 41 games but the actual two or three I’ve missed are the ones we’ve got promoted in and I didnt feel part of it.

“When you look at it now, it’s absurd, because I played 41 games and Shinnie’s played over 30 games.

“At the start of the season when we were flying, he was massive for that. Without those wins and all that early form, we wouldn’t be in the position we were, so everyone contributed, and he’s contributed massively.

“It’s just he’s been slightly unfortunate, he had a dip in form when we did and we needed something different.

“Other people have stepped up and that’s more about the squad we have.”

Whether he felt Shinnie, who has played over 50 times in the Championship while at the Blues, was more suited to life in League One next term, Jones added: “I hope so, because that’s why he was brought here.

“As with a lot of players, the footballers we have at the club, will be able to handle comfortably League One and Shinnie’s one of those.

“We were looking at Shinnie when I was at Brighton, we were looking for Championship players, so we believe in him.

“It’s just if his season had been turned the other way round, you’d be saying, ‘wow, what a player he is.’

“Because he started the season on fire, until Christmas he was brilliant, January, he still contributed, February, he still contributed, but less and then probably the last seven or eight games where he hasn’t been at his fluent best.

“But he’s been a vital component for what we’ve done.”