OPINION: Peter Kioso's potential move to Luton Town is a big loss but not a disaster for Hartlepool United
Hartlepool United are set to lose another player with Peter Kioso set to join Championship side Luton Town this week.
Hartlepool are believed to have accepted a six-figure fee for the defender who has just three months remaining on his contract at Victoria Park.
It’s a move that will no doubt disappoint Poolies given that Kioso has been a stand-out player since arriving from Dunstable in the summer of 2018.
Kioso’s consistency, wholehearted approach and ability to pop up with a goal have made him a fan favourite at Victoria Park.
But when a Championship club come knocking, you can’t exactly stand in the way.
Some may question the club’s ambition for letting one of their key players go, but did they really have a choice?
Kioso has been subject to plenty of EFL interest this season and Pools weren’t going to be able to keep him after his contract expired. When given the choice between a nominal compensation fee or a six-figure pay-out with a sell-on clause, it’s a no brainer.
Kioso will want to move to Luton. From his perspective, he can test himself in the EFL, move closer to home with greater financial and long-term security.
There’s little point keeping a player at a club he ultimately doesn’t want to be at only to have him leave for nothing at the end of the season when you can cash in now and reinvest.
That’s not to say Kioso wouldn’t have remained professional had Pools turned down the deal. For a 20-year-old, he has a mature head on his shoulders and spoke after Saturday 2-2 draw at Yeovil with the rest of the National League season very much on his mind.
“Anything is still achievable, nobody should downplay us no matter where we are in the league,” he said. “I think moving forward we need to keep believing we can do it.”
Will Hartlepool’s chances of achieving something this season be worse should Kioso leave? As it stands, yes, but sometimes the bigger picture needs to be addressed.
Selling Kioso now gives Pools time to plan and bring in the right players – which could be happening sooner rather than later.