Ross Barkley seals surprise Premier League return as new boys Luton Town announce his arrival following his release from Nice
- The Premier League side have snapped up Barkley, 29, on a free transfer
- Barkley was released by Nice earlier this summer following a disappointing spell
Premier League new boys Luton Town have confirmed the surprise signing of former Chelsea and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley.
The 29-year-old had been a free agent after being released earlier this summer following a disappointing spell with French club Nice.
The Hatters have snapped up the England international on a free ahead of their Premier League opener away at Brighton on Saturday.
Barkley, who spent eight years at Everton and four at Chelsea, has been capped 33 times by England and has more than 200 Premier League appearances to his name.
‘Why Luton? Going from the Conference to the Premier League is a great story and for me personally to be back in the Premier League, it’s great motivation,’ Barkley said.
Luton Town have signed Ross Barkley ahead of their opening Premier League clash at Brighton
Barkley had been a free agent after being released following a disappointing spell at Nice
‘I’m still relatively young and over the last couple of years I’ve not played as much as I’d have liked.
‘But I’ve reserved a lot of energy and looked after myself, so it’s great to be here now as I’ve got a lot to show but I’m ready and feeling motivated.’
Barkley is Luton’s latest arrival this summer under Rob Edwards, with the Hatters also recruiting the likes of ex-Man United starlet Tahith Chong, Marvelous Nakamba from Aston Villa and Belgian goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski.
He is back in the English top-flight following an ill-fated season in France with Nice, who he joined after having his contract terminated by Chelsea.
The Blues agreed to pay off the final year of his £200,000 a week contract after he fell way down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. He was not picked in any Premier League squad by Thomas Tuchel at the start of the 2022-23 campaign, despite featuring heavily in pre-season.
Barkley became a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge during the 2018-19 season, game time after that slowly dwindled.
He was sent on loan to Aston Villa in 2020-21 and started brightly, before he failed to live up to the initial hype and returned to Stamford Bridge.
The midfielder was part of England’s squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Euro 2016, but hasn’t featured for his nation since October 2019.
After leaving Chelsea, where he won an FA Cup and the Europa League, he signed for Nice but was deemed surplus to requirements following a torrid time in Ligue 1.
The 29-year-old’s contract at Chelsea was terminated in 2022 after he fell out of favour at Stamford Bridge
It was a baptism of fire in France for the 29-year-old, who scored a 3/10 in L’Equipe’s infamous player ratings on his full debut, a 2-1 loss at Paris Saint Germain in October.
That was the lowest rating of any player in that game, and things only got worse when he was awarded a 2/10 just weeks later in a 2-1 win at Lorient.
A brace in a 6-1 rout against Montpellier in January was a highlight, but an overall return of four goals and two assists from 27 appearances – mostly from the bench – failed to endear him enough to the Nice hierarchy.