Ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup first round tie with Ipswich Town at Kenilworth Road, the Hatters are delighted to announce that AFC Bournemouth forward Harry Cornick has become Nathan Jones’ ninth signing of the summer transfer window.
The Town have agreed to pay an undisclosed fee to the Premier League outfit for the 22-year-old, who passed a medical at The Brache this morning and has put pen to paper on a two-year contract, with the potential for a further year.
Manager Jones was delighted to add another potent attacking threat to a forward line that has already been boosted by the acquisition of James Collins and Elliot Lee this summer, to go alongside last season’s top scorer Danny Hylton and Isaac Vassell.
After signing the player who has been on the club’s radar since his early days in Non-League football, and who has spent time on loan in League Two with Yeovil Town and Leyton Orient, Jones told lutontown.co.uk: “I’ve been an admirer of Harry’s for many years now. We tried to get him last year but it wasn’t possible, so when we knew he was available this time, we went straight into him.
“Fair play to the board, they’ve backed me once again on another signing which will provide extra competition in the attacking area.
“He’s different to what we’ve got. He can play wide, but we see him as a real quick front man who is a good age. He’s at that tip of being potential, but he’s not a young one.
“He’s brave, and he’s shown that with the loans he’s gone on. He is committed to playing football games. He’s not prepared just to stay in the comfort zone at Bournemouth.
“He had a number of offers, but chose to come here so we are delighted and are looking forward to working with him.”
Cornick signed for the Cherries from Non-League club Christchurch after impressing on trial in January 2013, but the then 17-year-old stayed with the Wessex League part-timers until the end of the 2012-13 season while completing A-levels in biology, psychology and PE.
He returned to Non-League to gain experience on loan at National League clubs Welling United and Aldershot in the 2013-14 campaign, before a spell in the National League South with Havant & Waterlooville shortly after making his professional debut for Bournemouth as a sub in an FA Cup tie against Rotherham in January 2015.
That remains his only first-team appearance for Eddie Howe’s side, although Cornick has gained valuable experience of the fourth tier and League One over the past two seasons, catching the gaffer’s eye especially when he scored eight times in 34 starts for Yeovil in 2015-16.
Last term he scored once in 11 starts and two sub appearances for Orient, before finishing the campaign on loan in the division above with Gillingham, where he played six times.
“He was on my list when I was at Brighton in terms of young players to watch and I watched him many times playing for Yeovil,” added Jones. “He scored on a number of occasions and he has attributes that we know we can use, but also he has enough in his armoury for us to improve him to a significant level.
“I wouldn’t quite say that they are bigger clubs than us, but he’s turned down higher league clubs than us to come here because he sees what we are trying to do.
“He believes in what we are trying to do here and he believes that he can improve significantly under us because we are not looking to make small strides, we are looking to make great ones. That’s his ambition as well.”
Harry will wear squad number 14 and will be eligible to make his Town debut at Barnet on Saturday - but not tonight against the Tractor Boys.
Welcome to the club, Harry!