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31 January 2017

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England Under-21 goalkeeper returns to parent club

Sky Bet Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion have recalled goalkeeper Christian Walton from his loan spell with Luton Town.

The 21-year-old has returned to his parent club after the Seagulls’ second-choice keeper Niki Maenpaa was injured in the FA Cup defeat at Lincoln City on Saturday.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones said: “It was always a possibility that Christian could be recalled. We hoped it wouldn’t happen, but we have had contingency plans in place which we are currently working on.

“Christian has been unbelievable for us. Not only has he been by far the best goalkeeper in the division, continuing his development here by getting important game time, but he’s been a great lad to have around the club, as I knew he would be.

“We thank him for his time with us – and also Brighton for entrusting us with his development – and wish him every success in his future career.”

Walton joined the Town in the summer and has been ever-present behind the tightest defence in League Two, keeping eight clean sheets in his 27 matches – plus another in the 4-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over Chesterfield earlier this month – while conceding only 23 goals.

In total the Cornishman has played 33 times for the Hatters in all competitions, becoming a firm favourite with the Kenilworth Road faithful with impressive performances that included a stunning late penalty save to preserve a point at Notts County in October (pictured below).

In the same month he also made his England Under-21 debut – the first Luton Town player to be capped at that level by the national team for two decades – when he kept a clean sheet in the 5-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Before departing this morning, Walton told “I’ve had a fantastic time here at Kenilworth Road. It’s been a brilliant experience for me being part of a great squad and playing in front of the unbelievable Luton fans.

“I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone at the club for making me feel so welcome and wish Nathan and the boys all the very best for the rest of the season. 

“I hope they can go on and finish the job of winning promotion and I’ll be back to support them whenever I can.”

Good luck Christian and a massive thank you for all your efforts from all at Kenilworth Road!

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