Ross Barkley, a former Everton and Chelsea player and England international, has signed for Luton Town on a free transfer.
Barkley, 29, transfers to Bedfordshire after being released by French club Nice, for whom he played last season.
Barkley has inked a contract with the Hatters for an undisclosed length of time. Subject to international clearance, Luton hopes to have him registered in time for Saturday’s (12/08) Premier League season opener at Brighton.
Barkley becomes Luton’s eighth new addition prior to their Premier League season.
After graduating from Everton’s academy and spending time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds, Barkley became a mainstay for Everton during the 2013/14 season under Roberto Martinez, making 38 appearances in all competitions.
In total, he made 179 appearances for the Toffees, including 150 in the Premier League, where he won the Young Player of the Season award twice.
Barkley would reportedly depart Everton in January 2018 to join Chelsea for £15 million. He would make 100 appearances for the West Londoners in all competitions, including a substitute appearance in the 2019 Europa League Final when Chelsea defeated Arsenal in Azerbaijan.
However, Barkley would fall out of favor at Chelsea, spending the 2020/21 season on loan at Aston Villa before becoming a bit-part player in the 2021/22 season, despite scoring the Blues’ final goal of the Premier League season in his final game for the club before mutually agreeing to part ways.
He spent the previous season with Nice in France, netting four goals in 28 appearances.
In addition to being a Premier League regular, Barkley has earned international recognition, earning 33 caps and scoring six goals for England.
Barkley stated in an interview with the official Luton Town website that he was eager to return to the Premier League and contribute to the club’s fight for survival.
He questioned, “Why Luton?” Going from the Conference to the Premier League is a fantastic story, and my return to the Premier League is a wonderful source of motivation.
“I am still relatively young, and I have not played as much as I would have preferred over the past few years.
“However, I’ve saved a lot of energy and taken care of myself, so it’s great to be here now because I’ve got a lot to show, but I’m prepared and motivated.”
Barkley’s move to Kenilworth Road follows in the footsteps of Chiedozie Ogbene, Mads Andersen, Tahith Chong, Marvelous Nakamba, Ryan Giles, Thomas Kaminski, and loan acquisition Issa Kabore.
Rob Edwards, the manager, stated that his newest hire contributed something unique to the team and that he hoped it could be utilized in their pursuit of success.
He added, “Ross contributes a wealth of top-level experience, international experience, and an x-factor.
He has the ability to create something from nothing, which we need in the Premier League. He has all the resources necessary to make a difference for us.
“This is very exciting for the soccer organization. We want supporters to be excited about Ross’s arrival, and they should be.”