Luton starlet's deadline day move to Serie A side Lecce came as a 'surprise' to Town's coaching staff

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Republic of Ireland youth international heads out to Italy

The move of Luton Development squad’s attacking midfielder Ed McJannet to Serie A side Lecce on transfer deadline day came as something of a ‘surprise’ to the Hatters coaching staff according to assistant boss Paul Trollope.

The 19-year-old came through the ranks at Kenilworth Road and was highly regarded by the Hatters, having represented the Republic of Ireland at U17, U18 and U19 levels, the latter of whom he captained on a number of occasions.

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After recovering from an injury that had blighted his start to the season, McJannet returned for the Development squad recently, scoring in a 3-2 defeat against Lincoln City.

Rumours then abounded that was heading to fellow Italian top flight club Sassulo before the window closed, but it was Lecce that was his eventual destination, joining the mid-table side for an undisclosed fee.

It means he will be potentially featuring in stadiums such as San Siro, the Allianz Stadium and the Stadio Olimpico during his time abroad, with Lecce heading to Inter Milan early next month.

When asked about the deal during Town’s pre-Stoke City press conference yesterday, Trollope said: “It was a surprise to us as a coaching team but we’d seen his quality and we do pride ourselves here on giving exposure to the Under-23s and 18s, if they do well enough in the first-team training group.

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“So we saw quite a bit of Ed over the last four to six weeks especially.

Former Luton youngster Ed McJannet has joined Serie A side LecceFormer Luton youngster Ed McJannet has joined Serie A side Lecce
Former Luton youngster Ed McJannet has joined Serie A side Lecce

"He’s always shown up very well, but from his international games he’s obviously impressed one or two people in certain countries.

“Again, it was a deal that the club thought it was right to accept.

"We wish Ed good luck and we’ll be watching to see how it turns out.”

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When asked if he thinks such a transfer could actually benefit Luton in terms of attracting other players to their Development squad in the future, Trollope added: “Now it is very much a global game, scouts from many countries are watching games in every country, so we’ve been pleased with the young players since we’ve been here.

“We’ve been really impressed by a number of them in the Under-23s and the 18s.

"Speaking on behalf of Rob and myself, we are really keen to help that pathway and create that pathway which, historically, has been such a strong asset to the football club.

“Of course, the boys have got to be good enough.

"If they’re good enough, I think Rob’s shown already that he’s more than willing to put people in, if they’re ready.

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“We’re looking forward to building those relationships and making sure those players, the younger ones, the A-graders from the academy see the pathway and feel like they’ve got a chance to make the first team.”

McJannet himself tweeted following the move: “Thank you for everything @LutonTown and @academyltfc!

"Wishing the club and everyone all the best

"Over the moon to have signed for @OfficialUSLecce.

"Time to work hard and give it everything!”