Bristol Rovers have today completed the signing of Peterborough United's Luke James, who arrives at The Memorial Stadium on a season long loan.
Manager Darrell Clarke had this to say about his new signing; “I’m delighted to be able to bring Luke to Bristol Rovers, on a season long loan with the option of making it a permanent deal at the end of the season.
“He’s only 21 but already has the benefit of over 150 league games behind him since he signed as a professional at Hartlepool.
“They sold him to Peterborough for a £500,000 fee and he has since been out on loan at Bradford City and back at Hartlepool and I thought he was ‘Pools best player when they came to The Mem last season.
“I’ve watched him on a number of occasions in the last few years. He’s always impressed me with his work rate and I believe that I can get him scoring goals for Bristol Rovers.
“In my opinion his best position is playing off the shoulder of a striker at the top end of the pitch and at Hartlepool he scored a total of 19 goals in his two spells with them.
“He can also play high in a three, either on the left or right hand side and I’m quite excited about him signing for us
“Luke was very keen to join us and I believe that I and my coaching staff can get the best out of him.”
On completing his loan deal to join Rovers, Luke told us “I’m very excited to be here and can’t wait to get started. The move came around really quickly but as soon as I heard there was interest from Bristol Rovers this is where I want to be so I’m glad it’s all done.
“I played against Rovers last season when at Hartlepool and we got beat 4-1 on that night and Rovers were playing some great attacking football so it was a no-brainer for me.
“I work hard for the team but I like to play as a striker through the middle of the park so I want to bring as many goals as I can"
Luke, who has been given squad number 29, graduated through the ranks at Hartlepool and made his senior debut when only 17 and became the youngest player ever to score a senior goal for the club when he found the back of the net against Rochdale on 7th January 2012.
In September 2014, after scoring 19 goals in 90 league games for Hartlepool, Luke joined Peterborough United and has, to date, scored once in 32 league appearances with the London Road outfit.
Last season he was on loan at Bradford City, where he played in nine league games, before returning to Hartlepool United where he remained on loan until the end of the campaign.
Rovers’ supporters will no doubt remember him scoring twice at The Memorial Stadium in September 2013 in a 2-2 draw between The Gas and The Monkey Hangers, the first of three games he has played against us.
The 21 year old midfielder/striker was The Football League One Apprentice of the Year in 2013.