FORMER Oxford United midfielder Shandon Baptiste has joined one of the club’s new second tier rivals.

The 26-year-old, who left Brentford as a free agent this summer, became Luton Town’s first signing after their relegation from the Premier League, when he joined over the weekend.

Baptiste progressed through United’s youth ranks, scoring five goals in 43 games, before joining Brentford alongside Tariqe Fosu for undisclosed fees on January deadline day in 2020.

He made 78 appearances for the Bees, including 55 in the Premier League.

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Baptiste told the Hatters website: “I feel like Luton is the right place for me. Watching the club play last season, it was clear that something big was happening here and I want to be a part of it.

“There are good players and a good manager here so I’m hopeful that we can do big things together.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries during my career, but I feel like I’ve passed that now and hopefully I can just look forward to doing great things in the Luton shirt.”

Oxford Mail:

His new manager, Rob Edwards, added: “We’re really excited to get Shandon in. I know I always say this about our players, but he’s a great person.

“I’ve had a few chats with him and he was really keen on joining us, it wasn’t a hard sell for me. I think he’s seen from the outside what we’re about and wanted to join and help us.

“He’s such a talented footballer. He’s someone who can take the ball, he can drive past people. I think he’s an exciting player, and technically very good, so we’re looking forward to getting him into the group.

“He’s at a good age, he wants to get back to the Premier League and he ticks a lot of boxes. He’s got a lot of experience, but he’s got something to prove as well, so he’s hungry.

“I’m delighted. It’s a really good bit of business by the club, and that’s what we pride ourselves on, trying to be really clever in the market.

“We bring in good people, good players and there was a lot of interest in Shandon, but he wanted to come to Luton and we’ve beaten a few clubs to him, which is very exciting.”