Ross Barkley signs for Luton Town on free transfer

Ross Barkley has signed for Premier League newcomers Luton Town on a free transfer.

The 29-year-old left French club Nice at the end of June having joined in September 2022.

Barkley, who has 33 caps for England, the last coming in 2019, will bring top-flight experience to the Luton squad having made more 200 Premier League appearances.

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Barkley will wear No 6 for Luton, who begin their first Premier League season away to Brighton on Saturday having risen through the leagues following promotion from non-League in 2014.

When his signing was announced, Barkley said: “Why Luton? Going from the Conference to the Premier League is a great story and for me personally to be back in the Premier League, it’s great motivation.

“I’m still relatively young and over the last couple of years I’ve not played as much as I’d have liked.

“But I’ve reserved a lot of energy and looked after myself, so it’s great to be here now as I’ve got a lot to show but I’m ready and feeling motivated.”

He began his career at Everton before moving to Chelsea in 2018 but struggled to establish himself at Stamford Bridge. A loan to Aston Villa in the 2020-21 season brought three goals in 24 Premier League matches before he moved to Nice permanently.

What can he bring to Luton?

By Everton correspondent Patrick Boyland

Whether Barkley can ever hit the levels of his early Everton days again remains to be seen. But a free transfer move seems like a gamble worth taking for all parties.

At his best playing as a No 8, driving forwards with the ball and striking at goal, he showed during his time on loan at Nice last season that he had something left to give.

After a tough time at Chelsea, this feels like a final opportunity for him to rekindle a career that has not lived up to early expectations.

(Photo: Visionhaus/Getty Images)

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