Luton stand to do 'very well' out of Sluga's deadline day move to Ludogorets

Champions League a real pulling point for Croatian international

By Mike Simmonds
Monday, 21st February 2022, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 4:05 pm
Former Luton keeper Simon Sluga
Former Luton keeper Simon Sluga

Luton stand to do 'very well' out of the deal that saw goalkeeper Simon Sluga leave to join Bulgarian side Ludogorets last month according to CEO Gary Sweet.

The Hatters' club record signing was sold for an undisclosed fee on transfer deadline day as Town were able to recoup some of the £1.3m they had originally splashed out on the Croatian international back in the summer of 2019, rather than risk losing him for nothing in the summer, a move described by boss Nathan Jones as one that was done to 'protect the asset.'With Ludogorets top of the First Professional Football League, four points clear of CSKA Sofia following a 2-1 win at fourth placed Cherno More at the weekend, a game which Sluga was on the bench for, hopes are high they can not only claim the title but reach the Champions League too.

They missed out on qualification this term, beaten by Malmo in the final play-off round, heading into the Europa League where they were knocked out of the group stages.

However, the more successful they are, the better it is for Town, as writing in his programme notes for Saturday's game with West Bromwich Albion, Sweet discussed the thinking behind the deal and also praised Sluga's efforts during his 94 appearances since arriving from HNK Rijeka.

He said: "We were happy to allow Simon Sluga to leave to join Ludogorets - a decent club on top of the Bulgarian League and we are more than happy with the arrangement for him.

“We couldn't block an opportunity for him to play in the Champions League, where if he plays and does well, we will also do very well out of it.

“Simon made the journey back a couple of days afterwards to walk into the building and say goodbye and a thank you to everyone which tells you all you need to know about him.

“He overcame a very difficult start on the pitch and all the pressures that come with moving to a new country, getting married and having your first child in the middle of a global pandemic, to really consider Luton his home and influence our improvement as a Championship club with his performances in goal.

"We wish him every success, while welcoming Jed Steer on loan from Aston Villa - a player who we know is a good character, and who brings vital experience of not only playing in the Premier League, but also of winning promotion from the Championship."