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3 central defenders that Luton Town could consider this January

Ridiculed in the summer for daring to ply their trade in the top-flight club and dubbed by the masses as the worst Premier League team the competition has ever welcomed, Luton Town have been distancing themselves from that lazy narrative that wider football fans set out at the beginning of the campaign.

A combination of the club’s gritty and determined DNA, with the two words that have long been associated with the Hatters ‘excellent recruitment’, sees Rob Edwards’ side sit a single point from escaping the relegation places whilst possessing a game in hand on 17th-placed Everton. 

A club that have recruited fantastically well from the lower divisions, and have rightfully gained a reputation for navigating this market well, promotion to the Premier League tested the Hatters’ ability to continue plucking talent from lower down in the pyramid.

However, Luton have not solely succeeded when adding lower league talent to their ranks, and the work behind the scenes to identify, assess and approve the signings of someone like a Ross Barkley or an Andros Townsend, adds a different string to the club’s already impressive recruitment bow. 

Now, amidst a January transfer window where the Bedfordshire club are within touching distance of breaking out of the Premier League dropzone, it remains to be seen how active the Hatters will be. The last two January transfer windows have proven to be very productive in transforming the club’s seasonal objectives, with the additions of Robert Snodgrass (2022) and Marvelous Nakamba (2023) both strengthening the squad and the subsequent promotion pushes. 

A report from Sky Sports has suggested that Luton are keen to add to their backline during this January window.

With that in mind, here, are three central defenders that could be of interest at Luton Town this month…

David Brekalo (buy)

In Tom Lockyer’s continued absence, the Hatters are down on a combative, no-nonsense type of centre-back profile, with perhaps only Mads Andersen fitting that kind of description. 

That is where Viking FC centre-back David Brekalo comes in, with the 25-year-old Slovenia international being a dominating and aggressive defender who certainly possesses what is required to step up to Premier League-level football. 

He is a player that the Hatters were rumoured to be interested in the summer, however, his influence in his side’s push for European football automatically increased the Norwegian club’s asking price. But with the 2023 Eliteserien coming to its conclusion back in November, and with Viking eventually missing out in the top three, he may be available for a more reasonable price this time around.  

Jon Pacheco (loan)

When considering Premier League loan rules, the Hatters would not be able to loan in another player from England’s top flight without waving goodbye to either Issa Kabore or Sambi Lokonga. 

However, Luton could still temporarily add another couple of players outside of England, which opens up the possibility of recruiting a player like highly-rated Real Socieded defender Jon Pacheco. The 22-year-old has started five times in La Liga for Erreala this season and an opportunity to continue his development, where there is a higher chance of more regular starting XI inclusion, could be exactly what he needs. 

A good carrier of possession, dominant in his duels and possessing good levels of mobility and pace, the left-footed central defender would be a potential option to battle it out for Amari’i Bell on the left of a back three. 

Mees Hilgers (buy)

Looking once again to a potential permanent option to bolster the club’s defensive ranks, FC Twente’s Mees Hilgers is a player who possesses impressive ball-playing capabilities and a rather high ceiling. 

His strengths lie in his abilities, impressing both as a carrier and passer of the ball, and with Edwards alluding to a desire to make his Luton side better on the ball, this could be the kind of addition that targets exactly that. 

There is scope for development when it comes to his ability to win both ground and aerial duels but the Hatters possess several ball-winners in Teden Mengi, Reece Burke, Gabe Osho and Mads Andersen, with Hilgers representing a different kind of defensive profile. 

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