Hatters chief hits out at ‘dumbest rule in history’ as EFL stop Luton from signing Premier League keeper on emergency loan

City goalkeeper Harry Isted made his Football League debut for the Hatters against Cardiff

Luton boss Nathan Jones has slammed the Premier League’s decision which prevents the Hatters from borrowing an emergency loaner from a top-flight club.

With the city stopper James Shea suffering from a season-ending knee injury against Cardiff City last weekend and second-choice Harry Isted failing to start a first team game for the club, Jones could have used the loan market to bring in a replacement stopper ahead of yesterday’s game with Blackpool, as he did with West Bromwich Albion’s Alex Palmer recently.

However, with Palmer now number two at the Hawthorns, a move for the 25-year-old was out of the question, meaning Jones had to turn his attention elsewhere.

Any hopes he had of plundering a Premier League club were quickly dashed as EFL rules state that top-flight clubs are not allowed to send goalkeepers on seven-year emergency loans. days at the second level or below.

It meant Isted started their first ever league game as the Hatters drew 1-1 with Tangerines at Kenilworth Road, while youth team Jameson Horlick was named on the bench.

Explaining his decision to go with the 24-year-old and not bring another stopper, Jones said: “We can’t get an emergency keeper, there’s no one there, no one will lend us goalie, so that wasn’t really a decision.

“If we could have maybe had someone with a bit more pedigree we might have, but at the end of the day we’re quite confident with Harry.

“It’s just to have a realistic goalkeeper to play and it’s no disrespect to Jameson, he’s not ready yet, but it’s difficult and the dumbest rule in history is that you cannot remove them from the Premier League.

“The Premier League have four goalkeepers in their building, two, three of them never play a football game and it’s an opportunity for them to do something, but you’re not allowed to take them out of the Premier League.”

Benching Horlick, who has been in the youth team this season, Jones continued: “He’s 19 and no experience, but we trusted Harry.

“We trusted what we have and that’s how we are up to the minute.

“We have our backs against the wall, we are doing absolutely everything to keep going, but it is a difficult situation.”

Although it was his first start for the club in the league, Isted, who has impressed against Chelsea and Cardiff this season, produced another display of confidence, particularly when claiming crosses, beating a single times from the penalty spot by Gary Madine.

Jones added: “He looked assured, but we defend well.

“We have 18 clean sheets, the highest in the league for clean sheets, so we’re a very, very good defensive unit.

“We know that, but we just can’t imagine all the things that are happening to us right now with the injuries.”

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