Luton Town were given a taste of just what might have been in the FA Cup at League One Peterborough United on Sunday.
During the comprehensive 2-0 defeat, two players who excelled for the hosts could easily have been wearing orange shirts, in striker Lee Angol and midfielder Erhun Oztumer.
“I was close to becoming a Luton player. The deal was done, but they failed me on a medical which came as a big surprise.”Erhun Oztumer
It was the diminutive midfielder Oztumer who ran the show from the centre of the park, with his ball on a string performance, plus ability to deliver a killer through ball, leaving home fans drooling.
The Turkish playmaker was virtually a Luton player in the summer of 2014 after agreeing to join from Dulwich Hamlet, only to fail a medical prior to signing.
With Luton mindful of the furore surrounding Danny Spiller and Garry Richards, who both never made a first-team appearance for the club after lengthy injuries, they opted to pull the plug.
Oztumer went on to join Peterborough instead and admitted to the club’s official website after Sunday’s clash, at the time, it had been a shock to learn of Luton’s decision.
He said: “I do have a bit of history with Luton so this was a big game for me.
“I was close to becoming a Luton player. The deal was done, but they failed me on a medical which came as a big surprise.
“It gave me an extra incentive to do well against them and I was delighted with the way I played and with how the team played.
“Obviously it was great to get the man-of-the-match award, but it could have gone to anyone in the team.”
Oztumer also revealed he was almost on his way out from Peterborough too under previous manager Dave Robertson, but is reborn under new boss Graham Westley, playing 11 times, scoring three goals.
He continued: “I was out of the door a few months ago. I thought my Posh career was over so I can’t thank Macca (Grant McCann) and the gaffer (Graham Westley) enough for helping me turn things around.”
“It was an excellent team display. We didn’t treat Luton like a mid-table League Two side. We gave them every respect, but we played very well and deserved to win.”
It was the same with striker Angol too as he was Luton’s player last term, scoring a bucketload of goals for Boreham Wood on loan, before returning to Kenilworth Road.
He was expected to push on for consideration in League Two this season, but rejected the contract Hatters offered him and after spending pre-season trialling with a host of other clubs, eventually joined Peterborough for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old also showed just what Luton had seen in him, as although still a raw talent, he displayed pace, power and an eye for goal that has brought him seven strikes this term.
He was to draw a blank this time though, thanks to some off-colour finishing and Town keeper Mark Tyler’s heroics, with Luton’s stopper impressed by both Posh players.
He said: “I thought Lee played really well and Oztumer is a good little footballer. He gets in that little space, but their rotation in midfield is quality, everyone knows their jobs really well.
“Lee dropped in their second half and we all knew how good Lee Angol was. He did really well at Boreham Wood last year and I think he’s found his right club here and he’s fitted in really well.”