Former Luton striker Collins feels departing players will be 'big misses' for the Hatters
Forward one of two who have moved on from Kenilworth Road already
Former Hatters striker James Collins believes the players who are leaving the Hatters this summer will be ‘big misses’ for Luton.
Although Town manager Nathan Jones is yet to announce his retained list, expected to be released over the next few days, the club confirmed this week that Collins has agreed a move to Championship promotion hopefuls Cardiff City, with defender Matty Pearson joining Huddersfield Town.
The duo, who played 319 times for the club between them, are just two that were out of contract at Kenilworth Road this summer, with a number of the squad potentially seeking out new employers.
There was speculation that captain Sonny Bradley was leaving, although reports surfaced yesterday he might sign a new deal, while midfielder George Moncur has been linked with a move to League One champions Hull City.
The futures of long-serving Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Berry and Elliot Lee remain unclear, with their contract lengths not made public, while Martin Cranie, Dan Potts, Kazenga LuaLua and Ryan Tunnicliffe could all become free agents, with Brendan Galloway definitely leaving when his deal expires.
Speaking exclusively to the Luton News, Collins said: “I think there's 10, 11 players out of contract, all those players have been a big part of the success over the years.
“It’s maybe the transition period that the board and the staff feel that they need, and good luck to them.
"But me personally, I feel that the players that are potentially leaving or have left, are going to be big misses for Luton.”
Boss Jones had stated before the season ended that he wouldn’t be ‘sentimental' in any of his decisions when it came to renewing contracts, while at a meet the manager event on Thursday, was reported to have spoken of his desire to bring in more 'athletic' players during this transfer window.
However, Collins didn’t think there had been a huge need to dramatically change a squad that had finished 12th in the Championship last term, adding: “I wouldn’t say that’s what we need to do.
"I think the players that are out of contract they are massive players for Luton Town, I feel that they’ve been the mainstays for Luton Town.
"It’s the spine basically, the lads that are out of contract so I wouldn't say that’s what they need, but it looks like it is going to go that way.
"I’m sure Nathan and the board have got their replacements lined up and to be fair to them, their recruitment ever since I've been at the club has been fantastic.
"They don't get many signings wrong, but I feel that some of the players that will be potentially leaving this year will be a big miss for Luton.”