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Teenage midfielder moves to Championship club for undisclosed fee

31 August 2017

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We can confirm that midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson has left Luton Town to join Bristol City for an undisclosed fee.

The 18-year-old travelled down to Ashton Gate this evening and has passed a medical with the Sky Bet Championship club.

Bakinson joined the Hatters’ academy as an Under-10 and progressed through the ranks to sign his first professional contract in March 2016 at the age of 17.

He was part of the Town’s youth team that won the EFL Youth Alliance South-East Division and League Cup double in the 2015-16 campaign, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup, and made his first-team debut as a substitute on the final day of that season against Exeter City.

Bakinson leaves the Hatters with six senior appearances to his name, the last five coming in the Checkatrade Trophy, including the most recent, when he played in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur Under-21s earlier this month.

Manager Nathan Jones said: “We accepted a bid for Tyreeq. It’s a fantastic bid for the club and will enable us to develop the infrastructure, especially within the academy.

“We tried everything possible to keep Tyreeq. We’ve been turning down offers for a number of months now, but Tyreeq and his dad made it blatantly obvious that he wanted to leave the club.

“We had numerous meetings with Tyreeq, his representatives and his dad, and reiterated the development plan that we felt was right for him. He felt that he should be in the first team. We reiterated that we would give him every opportunity in pre-season to stake a claim.

“As it was, he wasn’t at the level to start the season in league games and he then made it clear that he felt his development would be better suited elsewhere, and drop into an Under-23 team to get the game time, because he felt he was falling behind with the quality of players that we had.

“Despite the reassurances we gave him, he was very adamant – as was his dad – that he wanted to move to an Under-23 team where he felt that his development would be best accomplished.

“We made a conscious decision that if he wasn’t going to impact our first team in the near future, which he wasn’t going to, and when it was blatantly clear from an attitude change from the player, we felt it was in the best interests of the club to get the best deal possible to enable us to move forward and develop the numerous players that actually want to continue their development with Luton Town.

“We wish Tyreeq all the best and hope that he has the career that we feel he would have had at Luton Town, but he felt would be easier achieved elsewhere.

“I want to reiterate from my point of view, from a coaching staff point of view and from a board, a chief exec and a club point of view, that at no point did we seek to sell the player and let one of our academy graduates go from this football club.

“But trust me on this – this move is in the best interests of Luton Town.”

Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet added: “We’ve received an incredible offer for Tyreeq that we couldn’t really turn down both for us and for him, as it’s a big opportunity for him to progress at a Championship club.

“We won’t stand in a player’s way if the deal is right for all parties and, most importantly, if the income helps us further develop. Every single penny of this income will be re-invested as it allows us to acquire another targeted young player and the balance, as it becomes due, will go towards building new facilities for the academy at The Brache.

“To allow one of our academy products to leave for a club above us is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is our intention that we patiently build for the future so we can be stronger in the future by elevating the status of our academy.

“We wish Tyreeq every success and, as with all players who leave Kenilworth Road, we’ll have a keen interest in how he does in the future. Not only because we’re proud of the players we produce, but because his progress will mean the club will benefit more financially further down the line.”

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