Alfie Doughty: The weapon Luton Town are set to unleash in the Premier League
Luton Town's push for promotion to the Premier League in the 22/23 season was certainly aided by Alfie Doughty, appearing in 31 league games and chipping in with two goals and six assists in the process. These stats may not seem ground-breaking, but the electric wing-back offered so much more to the squad than some may realise.
The 23-year-old joined The Hatters at the start of last season from Stoke City for an undisclosed fee where he was struggling to get games for The Potters. The Englishman was signed to bolster and add depth to the left side of Nathan Jones's midfield, although Alfie did struggle with injury leading to only 6 appearances under Jones. Once Rob Edwards joined the club in November, heavy emphasis was put on wing-backs having even more of an attacking influence, allowing Doughty to flourish down the left side of the pitch.
Instructed to play crosses into the box for the two tall strikers of Carlton Morris and Elijah Adebayo, Alfie really showed Edwards' vision of playing direct football. These crosses led to the majority of the wingbacks assists that season.
These stats from footystats.org show that the former Stoke player's crossing ability is a real threat against opposition defenders, His expected assists per 90 minutes was 0.25 which put him above 94% of other players in the Championship last time out. Having also 2.80 successful crosses per 90 minutes leading him to be in the top 99% in the championship, does cement his attacking crossing and passing ability at a high level.
Most Luton fans will also remember the 23-year-old's fantastic goal against QPR at Loftus Road when Doughty and Morris played a 1-2 pass outside the box, before Alfie unleashed an unstoppable drive outside of the box which found its way to the top right hand corner of the net. This only supplements the wingbacks capabilities of attacking the ball high up the pitch.
Defensively, Doughty was very impressive throughout the season, stopping talented wingers from delivering the ball into the box which certainly played a factor in Luton having the 3rd lowest goals conceded in the league.
This season, Alfie will be up against even higher quality players when both attacking and defending, Having the likes of Jack Grealish running at you or having to attack Reece James is no easy feat. This means the wing-back's defensive capabilities will yet again have to go up another level but if The Town want to bid for Premier League survival, Doughty can play a huge role in doing so.
Of course, the 23-year-old will have Ryan Giles for company as the two exciting left-sided players battle for a left-wing-back spot, but ultimately, the former Charlton Athletic defender is ready for the rigours of the Premier League football and will be champing at the bit for the new season to come around.