O's striker is a Hatter until the end of the season
Luton Town boss Nathan Jones has completed his fourth new signing of the transfer window with striker Ollie Palmer arriving on loan from Leyton Orient until the end of the season.
Like fellow outfield recruits Lawson D’Ath and Luke Gambin, the 25-year-old forward has a track record of scoring against the Hatters – netting Orient’s consolation in the Town’s 2-1 win at Brisbane Road in mid-October.
And standing 6ft 5ins tall, former Mansfield Town hitman not only bolsters Jones’ striking stable for the Sky Bet League Two run-in, but also gives the Welshman another option in terms of playing style.
The gaffer told lutontown.co.uk: “We felt we needed something different, so we earmarked Ollie. He’s a player we’ve liked for a long time and our focus has often been on him in the build-up to our games against Orient.
“He’s done well against us in the games too, so when the chance came up to get him in, we took it.
“With his size, he’ll give us a different option in terms of physicality. We have a lot of pace and ability to get in off defenders’ shoulders, but we felt we needed more of an authentic target man to play up there.
“We are really happy with the strike force we’ve got now, and Ollie will only enhance that. He’s a great lad and has shown a real desire to come here and play a part in what we all hope will be a successful end to the season.”
Palmer started his career in Non-League with Woking, but came to the attention of Football League clubs with a prolific two-year spell in the Conference South with Havant & Waterlooville, earning a transfer to Mansfield as the Stags moved back up to the Football League in the summer of 2013.
He spent the second half of the 2014-15 campaign on loan at Grimsby, scoring eight times in 15 games to help the Mariners reach the Conference play-off final, before Mansfield sold him to Orient for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2015.
After netting nine goals in his debut campaign at Brisbane Road, Palmer has followed that up with five in 13 starts and ten sub appearances this term as the east London club have struggled near the foot of League Two.
“The ambition at Leyton Orient was to be involved in the promotion push and unfortunately it’s not quite gone that way, so I’m glad to be joining a club that is fighting for automatic promotion,” said Palmer.
“I can’t really imagine that with the squad that Luton have, and from what the manager has told me, that he’ll be looking for the play-offs. He wants to get into the top three and that’s why he’s looking to bolster his squad, to give him different options.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to come on loan until the end of the season to try and help the club get up. League Two has become a familiar league for me to play in, but it doesn’t mean I want to be sitting in it for the rest of my life.
“I only turned 25 last Saturday, so it’s a nice birthday present moving here and hopefully I can kick on and get into League One with Luton.”
Palmer wasn’t signed in time to make his debut against Cheltenham tonight, but he is looking forward to running out in front of the Town faithful in the coming weeks.
“I’ve played at Kenilworth Road a couple of times and it’s always been a good atmosphere,” added Palmer. “It’s normally a full stadium and very loud, so I’m looking forward to being on the right end of that noise for the last few months of the season.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me personally. It will be a privilege to play in front of such a loyal, big crowd.”
Welcome to Luton Ollie, and good luck during your time as a Hatter!