Ireland international O'Kane leaves Leeds

The midfielder has signed an 18-month deal with Luton Town.

Eunan O'Kane (file pic).
Eunan O'Kane (file pic).
Image: Dave Howarth

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL EUNAN O’Kane has re-joined Luton Town from Leeds United in an “18-month arrangement,” both clubs have confirmed.

The 29-year-old midfielder made 58 appearances for the Elland Road outfit, after signing from Bournemouth in 2016.

However, he found himself surplus to requirements after Marcelo Bielsa took charge ahead of the 2018-19 season.

He initially moved on loan to Luton at the beginning of last season, but his first spell there was cut short, after he suffered a double leg break in his third game with the club, who are currently bottom of the Championship.

Manager Graeme Jones told the club’s official website: “Eunan’s got a real strong feeling for the club and I love that about him, because sometimes you either get a club or you don’t, and he’s really got this club and bought into it.

“He said to me that he felt at home immediately when he was here last season, and although it was only his third game in that he broke his leg against Bristol Rovers, that attachment and connection to the people here has never really left him, which is a big plus.

On top of that he has undoubted quality and pedigree. We’ll have to work for a few weeks to get him up to speed. We’ve got to get him more robust and have got to get some volume into him, as he hasn’t trained at all with Leeds, but we are delighted to get him in for the long term.”

O’Kane added: “When I arrived here I immediately fell in love with the place. I did feel a part of the group last year.

“I have been around and I’ve seen a few games so I do have a soft spot for here already and I’m really excited to be back. There’s been a lot of changes since I was last here, but I’m excited to get going again.

“The club have always been in contact with me, checking how I am. There have been multiple conversations about coming back in different windows, so it’s good to finally be in a position where I’m close to playing, hopefully, and be able to make it happen.”

On when he will return from his long-term injury, the Derry native said: “The answer is, I don’t know exactly. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to contribute between now and the end of the season but at the minute we are still finding that out. We haven’t put a time frame on it, but ideally I’ll be contributing sooner rather than later.

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“The big thing in the conversations between myself and the club was about taking our time and it being that longer term option, rather than a short-term where there is the pressure to play immediately.

“It’s more about getting myself healthy and being at my best and then obviously that puts me in the best position to contribute.”

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Paul Fennessy

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