‘Kaldini signs’ - Bristol City pull off a coup to snatch Luton Town player of the year Kal Naismith

Robins seal their second summer signing after Nigel Pearson’s team complete free transfer pick-up.

Bristol City have announced the signing of Kal Naismith on a three-year deal, who arrives on a free transfer.

The Scottish utility defender played mostly on the left of Luton Town’s back three last season, but is able to play left-back or left wing-back and has even played on the right before. He will join officially at the end of his current contract in June.

The Robins swooped to bring in the 30-year-old former Hatters player this week, after Nathan Jones had offered the versatile defender a contract to remain at Kenilworth Road.

But Bristol City’s offer has won the day and the West Country outfit pick off a player who was rated by many analysts as Luton Town’s best player last season, with the Bedfordshire side making the top six of the division but losing to Huddersfield in the play-offs.

Indeed, Naismith swept the board with awards at his former club’s end of season do, being named as Luton’s Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year, and even winning their Goal of the Year competition, for his last gasp belter against Bournemouth.

Supporters of the Hatters last night on social media deplored losing a key player some called ‘Kaldini’ [after great defender Paolo Maldini] to a team who finished down in 17th in the table, but Bristol City supporters are upbeat about capturing a seasoned and versatile top Championship defender.

“Been an absolute beast for Luton who made it to the championship play offs. Will bring solidity to a defence who struggled last season. Good on the ball and suited to this level,” said one.

Naismith played 44 games of the regular season (and two more against the Terriers) and grabbed eight assists and two goals in the 2021/22 Championship, showcasing his ability at the other end of the pitch too.

He joins up again with former Wigan Athletic team-mate Joe Williams, and could play left-back or in the back three at Ashton Gate.

Speaking to Robins TV, Naismith said: “It feels great to get it [the deal] done and it feels brilliant to be here. It’s a huge club and I’m just massively excited to be a part of it.

“We wanted to get it done quickly so I can enjoy time off with my family, and ultimately look forward and know where I’m going to be, come the start of the season.

“There is everything here for this club to be successful on the pitch and ultimately it’s up to the players and everyone to give everything every day and always try to get better day-in-day-out. I believe if we do that it will stand us in good stead.”

Naismith becomes Bristol City’s second signing of the summer, following ex-Oxford United midfielder Mark Sykes arriving on a free transfer from the U’s.