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  • Writer's pictureAdam Driscoll

Joy and woe of the January transfer window - A look at Luton Town's past business

The January transfer window is always one that splits opinion. Should clubs be able to tweak their squads for the second half of the season or should they live and die by summer recruitment?

Regardless, it's a particularly entertaining month for us fans and can provide increased confidence or renewed optimism depending on how your team has fared in the first half of the season.

At Luton Town, the January transfer window has been used sparingly for incomings since the start of the 2014/15 season and our return to the Football League with only 10 permanent arrivals across 8 seasons. That compared to over 50 signings during post and pre-season.

Below, we take a look at a couple of the best and a couple you've probably already forgotten.

January gem 1

Although not technically signed in January (1st February 2021), Elijah Adebayo is arguably the best mid-season signing we've made for a long time.

It took only three weeks for Adebayo to register his first start and goal for the Hatters, opening the scoring during a 1-1 draw with Millwall, before scoring the winner in a remarkable turnaround against Sheffield Wednesday 4 days later.

If a further introduction was necessary, this was certainly achieved during the Beds-Herts derby on 17th April 2021. Adebayo's endless energy saw him reach a poor back-pass ahead of Daniel Bachmann and winning a penalty than James Collins coolly slotted away for a first derby day win since 1993.

Since signing for the Hatters, Adebayo has scored 25 goals in 81 games in all competitions.

January gem 2

Another stand out January signing is George Moncur.

The transfer of George Moncur from Barnsley to Luton was probably one lined-up and arranged by Nathan Jones, but was completed under the management of Mick Harford following Jones' move to Stoke a few days earlier.

Moncur's impact during the second half of the 18/19 season was immense, scoring memorable free-kicks against Portsmouth and Fleetwood. Moncur contributed 6 goals in 14 appearances to help the Hatters to the League One title.

What a waste of money

First up, we have everybody's second favourite 'JJ', Jake Jervis.

Signed by Nathan Jones on Deadline Day in January 2018, it was said Jervis turned down other offers to join the Hatters from Plymouth Argyle. He might have wished he didn't though, as Jervis only managed 448 minutes across 14 appearances, contributing 1 goal and 1 assist.

When you're in League Two, signing a player with a CV including Crystal Palace, Leeds Utd and Sheffield Utd might be seen as a coup. Not in the case of Ryan Hall.

Signed by John Still in January 2015, it was hoped Hall might drive the Hatters to successive promotions however this failed to materialise after an awful finish to the season saw Luton lose 11 of their last 16 games, finishing 8th.

Hall remained under contract for the 15/16 season but managed only 10 appearances after picking up numerous injuries during the second half of the season. At the end of the 15/16 season, with Nathan Jones now in charge, Hall was identified as one of nine players to be released.

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