Luton Town Eyeing Former International

Luton Town have taken former Netherlands national team defender Erik Pieters on trial following the 35-year-old’s release from West Bromwich Albion.

Luton played Stevenage in a behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly on Monday and Pieters was a surprise inclusion in the Hatters’ squad. The former West Brom and Stoke man featured for 45 minutes in Luton’s 3-0 victory.

However, according to reports from Luton Today, the former Netherlands international may face competition for a contract. The Hatters also gave runouts to other potential centre-back signings, including former Shrewsbury Town defender Vladimir Paternoster.

Luton were relegated from the Premier League last season and have already allowed two defenders to depart. Centre-back Dan Potts left after the expiration of his contract and left-back Ryan Giles joined Hull City on a permanent transfer. In addition, Tom Lockyer’s timeline for returning to first-team action is unknown after the Welsh player suffered cardiac arrest in December 2023.

Manager Rob Edwards seemingly wants to move quickly to fill the gaps left by Giles and the experienced Potts. Ultimately, Pieters would provide a like-for-like replacement, as he can comfortably play at centre-back or left-back.

The length of the Dutchman’s trial period at Kenilworth Road has not been revealed. As a result, he could have further opportunities to impress Edwards in upcoming friendlies against Aarhus Gymnastikforening and FC Rukh Vynnyky.

Pieters has been without a club since his contract at the Hawthorns expired in May. The Midlands club opted against extending the defenders’ contract, despite making 25 appearances in all competitions. He joined West Brom in 2022 from Burnley and played 58 Championship games, according to Transfermarkt. 

The 35-year-old has plenty of top-level experience with Burnley and Stoke City. Pieters has made over 200 Premier League appearances during his career and he played 18 times for the Netherlands senior team.

Writer’s View

Seeing Pieters on the Luton Town teamsheet this week may have caused an initial surprise. However, the transfer would make sense for both parties. Pieters is an experienced player and could offer Edwards a versatile defensive option as the Hatters face the gruelling task of getting promoted back to the top flight.

Yet, it seems unlikely that the veteran defender would be a first-choice, especially at centre-back. The Hatters have plenty of top central defenders in Reece Burke, Mads Andersen, Tom Holmes and Teden Mengi. But, with Amari’i Bell the club’s only clear left-back, Pieters would be a solid addition to the full-back department.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.