Luton boss may have to sign another emergency loan goalkeeper following injury to Shea at Cardiff

Stopper left on crutches in Wales

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 7:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 2:05 pm
James Shea suffered a knee injury against Cardiff on Easter Monday
James Shea suffered a knee injury against Cardiff on Easter Monday

Luton boss Nathan Jones could well be forced into bringing in yet another emergency loan goalkeeper after James Shea suffered a knee injury during yesterday’s 1-0 win at Cardiff City.

The 30-year-old came out bravely to collect a cross on the stroke of half time but collided nastily with team-mate Tom Lockyer and went down in what looked like agony holding his right knee.

After receiving treatment, Shea initially tried to carry on, but when clearing the ball upfield, went down down once and had to be helped from the field, returning at the final whistle in a knee brace and on crutches.

It meant for the second time this season, Harry Isted was called on from the bench, as he had been against Chelsea, and produced an assured display to help Town keep yet another clean sheet and earn a crucial three points in their fight for the play-offs.

However, with Isted making just his fourth senior appearance, he still doesn’t class as a senior goalkeeper, while with teenager Jameson Horlick from the youth team next in line, if Shea is facing a period on the sidelines, Jones admitted he would have to act, saying: “He’s (Shea) just gone over his knee, it’s unfortunate.

“We’ve only got one goalkeeper at the minute, so I think we’re allowed to bring in an emergency.

"You can’t only have one keeper in your squad, that’s the way it is at the minute, we’ll see what happens over the next couple of days.”

West Bromwich Albion stopper Alex Palmer was a name that immediately sprung to mind, after he signed back in March when Aston Villa loanee Jed Steer and Shea were absent, but he is now second choice at the Hawthorns behind David Button, on the bench for their 4-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest yesterday.

On whether Town would go back for the 25-year-old, Jones added: “Well, there’s a number of people on the list, but the club’s got to allow them to come to us and so on and so forth, but it’s tough.”

Should Luton bring in another stopper, it would be the sixth keeper they have used this term, with Simon Sluga starting the campaign before moving to Bulgarian side Ludogorets.

The Hatters haven’t done that since the 2002-03 season when Joe Kinnear was in charge at Kenilworth Road.