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  • Writer's pictureSamuel Roy

Analysing Luton's January transfer window

The transfer window has slammed shut, and while Luton haven't spent £330m, it was still a very eventful window. Rob Edwards made use of the loan system, with two loanees signing, a stark contrast to how rarely Nathan Jones would bring loans in. The window also saw some drastic change in the squad with several long standing Luton players departing. In this article every single incoming and outgoing will be discussed.



Incomings:


Cody Drameh | Loan from Leeds United | Right back


A replacement for James Bree was desperately needed, so as soon as Bree was linked to Southampton, reports of Drameh's potential signing emerged immediately. The club had clearly planned to sign a replacement for Bree in advance, and Drameh is an ideal stop gap until the end of the season, who looks like he offers more pace, dribbling ability and potentially more going forward than Bree. He played his first game against Cardiff in the 1-0 win and he was hugely impressive, receiving a standing ovation when subbed in the 69th minute due to tightness in the calf according to Rob Edwards. It is clear that the Leeds youngster is a future Premier League player with a bright future ahead of him, so we best enjoy him while he is here.


Marvelous Nakamba | Loan from Aston Villa | Defensive midfielder


A midfielder with the best name in the Championship, Marvelous arrives on loan from Villa with a huge reputation as a Premier League experienced player. Villa signed him for £10m back in 2019, and since then the experienced 29 year old Zimbabwean international has made 58 Premier League appearances. A player of real quality, Marvelous should slot straight into the midfield, most likely as the deepest, freeing up Pelly, Clark and Campbell to play further forwards.


Jack Walton | Transfer from Barnsley | Goalkeeper | Undisclosed fee


Luton chose this window to further strengthen in the goalkeeper department, swapping out one backup in Isted for another in Barnsley's Jack Walton. Having played 43 times in the Championship, Walton should provide valuable backup to Horvath, with him being more experienced to this level of football than Isted and benefitting from working previously with our goalkeeping coach Kevin Pilkington


Joe Taylor | Transfer from Peterborough | Striker | Undisclosed fee


A 20 year old striker, Taylor is surely one for the future. Mick Harford has stated that Luton have been tracking Taylor for some time, and that he has plenty of pace and can run in behind. While he is very inexperienced, Luton clearly rate him very highly. Let's hope he gets plenty of opportunities off the bench to show his talents in the second half of the season.


Admiral Muskwe | Recalled from Fleetwood | Striker


While not a new transfer, Muskwe is classed as an incoming as he has been recalled from Fleetwood following Luton's striker shortage created this window by the departing Jerome and Cornick (discussed below). The Admiral had a mixed spell at Fleetwood, scoring 3 in 12 games at Fleetwood. The decision to recall Muskwe is a smart one, as he can provide an extra option off the bench, and act as additional rotation for Morris and Adebayo.



Outgoings:


James Bree | Transfer to Southampton | Right back | Undisclosed fee


There was always a chance of Nathan Jones taking a Luton player with him to the coast, and he chose Bree who joined for around 500k due to his expiring contract. Bree has performed at a high level for some time now, he deserves his Premier League move but it is still a shame to lose him for such a small fee. His free kick taking and ability to also play right centre back will be missed. The loan signing of the exciting Cody Drameh lessens the blow for the meantime.


Harry Cornick | Transfer to Bristol City | Striker | Undisclosed fee


The Corndog has been with Luton for over 200 games in 6 seasons, so it may take some time to get used to not seeing his name in the squad list. Like Bree, Cornick had only 6 months on his contract, so Luton decided to cash in, as there were no guarantees for a starting position with Morris and Adebayo performing well. Bristol City and Swansea were both interested but ultimately Bristol City won the race and the 27 year old will reunite with Kal Naismith under the 'best manager in the league.' It has been a pleasure watching Harry sprint past players and we can wish him only the very best in helping Bristol City avoid relegation.


Cameron Jerome | Joined Bolton | Striker | Mutual Termination

Jerome did his job very well last season in our playoff push, and he always puts in maximum effort even at the age of 36. Cameron clearly wanted to be closer to his family, therefore the club granted him his wish and he has now gone back up North to League One Bolton. A top professional, Luton will miss the impact he brought off the bench.


Matt Macey, Glen Rea, Harry Isted | Loans to Portsmouth, Barnsley and Cheltenham


Macey's second Luton stint has not started off very well, so him leaving on loan after one below average game was not a big surprise. Isted to Barnsley on loan is a bit puzzling as surely he isn't going to get much gametime there, however with the addition of Walton, we don't want to have too many keepers. Glen Rea will participate in a few development games to regain match fitness before joining up with Cheltenham in two weeks, although his long term Luton future must be in some doubt. Ed McJannet | Transfer to Lecce | Midfielder | Undisclosed fee The biggest business of the window involved the Luton Town academy product who had accrued zero minutes in the first team. The Irish U21 midfielder was scooped up by Serie A team Lecce, with interest also being shown by Sassuolo. I hope we have a sell on for him, in case he develops into a top talent.


Overall:


It is very refreshing to see Rob Edwards bring in two loan players, bringing our number up to 3, Drameh is a quality replacement for the departing Bree (for now), and Nakamba should bring experience, more energy and quality in midfield. However, it is disappointing how the Bree transfer has played out, as you would hope Luton would receive more money for such a young and key player, which opens up the question of should the club be doing more to try and extend contracts? The criticisms across social media was addressed by Luton Town Chairman David Wilkinson in his programme notes, stating "I was disappointed to notice various criticisms and ill-informed comments on social media about our transfer policy, and think it might be time to put the facts straight. Firstly, we have one of the lowest budgets in the Championship. There are many reasons for this, which include the capacity and inefficiency of Kenilworth Road, our unwillingness to spend money we don’t have and/or borrow to put the future of the club at risk."


“We are, and I suggest always will be, a selling club, which is why we have continued to invest heavily in the academy and more recently development football. The inevitable consequence of this is that if players become perceived to be good enough for the Premier League, or even richer Championship clubs benefiting from parachute payments, the financial gulf is so great that we cannot meet it. In time we hope that the Fan Led review will lead to fairer distribution, but must live with what exists today.” “There was so much uncertainty as to what the future might hold during the pandemic and lockdown that it would have been irresponsible madness to enter into long-term commitments. However, we are now getting back to some sort of normality. Contracts are negotiated when players join the club with agreement from the player, his agent and the club, and in normal circumstances if all parties agree, an extension will be included on revised terms during its term. It goes without saying that if the player or the club do not want an extension it won't happen."


"Our philosophy depends upon scouting and coaching efforts being able to find players with potential and improve them to increase their value, and should we not be able to satisfy their ambitions, to allow them to move on. This means that players know that we will not stand in their way should they attract interest from a higher level, so to some extent we are a stepping stone. "we won’t be satisfied until we get Cat S2 status and are in the EPPP games programme.”


Again, the club has not opted to bring in a central defender, a decision that has proved somewhat controversial with the online fanbase. Edwards clearly trusts Potts, Lockyer and Burke to continue being the first choice back 3, with Osho and Bell able to rotate in. Sonny Bradley should be back at some point as well, but there is an argument that a central defender should have been a priority, factoring in Burke and Potts recent injuries, and the many leads that Luton have given up this season. A centre back would have been very useful, however if the club didn't have the right profile in mind it is best to wait for the summer to address this position.


Another potential problem is the loss of 2 established strikers that Luton could call upon. Jerome and Cornick who both played a large role last season, have now left so there is a void to be filled, and some may argue that Luton haven't properly addressed the issue. Muskwe has been recalled, so that gives the Town another option and while he offers different qualities, he doesn't have the pace of Cornick or the relentless work ethic of Jerome. Joe Taylor is surely one for the future and Woodrow has not looked convincing so far, although he has been plagued by injuries. Still, it is possible Fred can play up front as well, and Woodrow and Muskwe both have points to prove to Rob Edwards. Like centre back, another striker will wait until the summer.


Overall, this has been a solid window for Luton, but there are still areas that need to be strengthened this summer.


By Samuel Roy


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5 kommentarer


Peter Scott
Peter Scott
02. feb. 2023

A good summary of the situation - we have only seen players like Admiral under the NJ regime - the RE regime seems a lot better quality and I think RE will turn Admiral into something special - what will happen with Potts and Pelly at the and of the season when their contracts run out? Cant see any club coming in for them? Cody had a great game the other night and with Marvelous coming in we have too many midfielders especially those that dont score goals. If everyone is fit we have enough cover at CB‘s too

Lik

Gjest
01. feb. 2023

I think Admiral would have returned to Luton anyway seeing as Fleetwood bought two good experienced League 1 strikers in the window. Can't see him doing much other than warming the bench. Also regards fair financial play, we had James Bree with six months on his contract left and Southampton pay £750k for him. Yet Arsenal pay £12 million for a player who also had 6 months on his at Chelsea, something needs to be done.

Lik

Gjest
01. feb. 2023

We were always going to lose players. You can’t hold a gun to their head and force them to sign extensions. So I agree with the Chairman that really anyone moaning about Cornick and Bree leaving need to wake up.

But I would agree that we’re now too light of options up front. Look at the bench on Tuesday and there was no striker. Muskwe showed nowt before leaving to suggest he’ll be good cover. He hasn’t done as well as CMG either at Fleetwood. CMG would’ve been the one I’d have recalled.


I agree we’re light on CB. But fair enough for Edwards to know better. I don’t like Bell as cover there. But if Edwards does then…


Lik
Gjest
02. feb. 2023
Svarer

I don’t work in football so I’m guessing. But I’d imagine the peak time to sell is with about 2 years left on a contract. Maybe 18 months at a push. That’s a 3rd to half of a 3 year contract - not much playing time made. Got to weigh up service on the pitch too. Bree and Cornick got us to the play offs. Was that worth more to the club and fans than getting more money much earlier?


And sometimes a player might be genuinely undecided 18 months to 2 years out too. If they don’t want to go then, and are playing well, should you try to sell them then just cos their value is at its…


Lik
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