Sweet confident Justin will remain a Hatter

Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet

Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet is confident that the club can keep hold of talented right back James Justin before the transfer window closes for business.

Luton knocked back an offer from Nottingham Forest for the 19-year-old last week, which was reportedly topping seven figures.

It is less likely that a Premier League club can offer him regular first team football today but after another season or so at Luton he will be more prepared.

Gary Sweet

When asked if he expected Justin to remain a Hatter, Sweet told the News/Gazette said: “Yes. Every club is a selling club. Spurs have just sold their right back (Kyle Walker) to a club with more disposable cash. The difference between the present Luton Town and the historical Luton Town is that we don’t need to sell to survive anymore.

“Furthermore, we also know how to get better value out of one of our players than we have before, both from a development perspective and when, who to, how and for how much when we release him.”

Sweet was aware that should a Premier League come calling for the defender, it might prove trickier, saying: “Potentially, but our job is to ensure that when a player of JJ’s ability develops at a faster rate than we can develop as a club and moves upwards he is equipped for that new challenge; that he is ready to play first team games at that level and hits the ground running.

“It is less likely that a Premier League club can offer him regular first team football today but after another season or so at Luton he will be more prepared.”

On whether there was also a sense of pride that Town had developed a player who is attracting so much interest, he added: “Of course there is but our priority is to maximise the club’s income whilst balancing that with the player’s continued development at another club.

“We see this is mutually beneficial; between the player and the club so it’s very rare we get into any kind of dispute with our players at Luton – because we care and, in general, they trust us.”