Luton Town squad depth entering the Summer Transfer Window
Luton Town are a Premier League Football Club. It still feels weird writing that. Maybe it will hit home when the fixtures are released on June 15th. But nonetheless, the retained list has come out, players have been retained, players have returned from loans and players have been released.
Sonny Bradley has been released by the club after 5 seasons with the club. Here he is scoring against Huddersfield in the 2021/22 Playoff semi final against Huddersfield | Photo courtesy of Gareth Owen
It's a sad but refreshing time in the football calendar, because players who have been important members of the team move on, which means a new dawn for the club. However, it's a moment where young players who haven't quite made the grade are released and this brings with it a stressful time for the young lads who are now without clubs.
There are more articles coming to Oak Road Hatter with thoughts about who we should be looking at signing and which positions need to be filled, but this article serves as a benchmark to show who we currently have in the first team picture, who's returning and who's left the club.
Currently we have 20 first team players, before taking into account the 5 players who are returning from loans. Of which, Dion Pereira has spent the majority of the season on the bench at League 2 Bradford as they failed in the playoffs, Matt Macey played one game for Luton before being shipped out to Portsmouth on loan, where he has impressed enough for Pompey to try sign him permanently. Glen Rea has been out the first team picture at Luton for some time, and after a horrendous injury while on loan to Wigan, he has finally regained fitness and finished the season off strongly at Cheltenham. Mendes Gomes, who spent the season on loan at Fleetwood, and new-ish signing John McAtee, who was loaned back to Grimsby for the season, are most likely not at the level for Premier League Football, so are likely not to trouble the 20 listed on the team graphic and will most likely be loaned out.
From the listed players on the team graphic, Pelly, Berry, Bell and Lockyer are all currently in discussions with the club over new terms, which is great, however, it's likely Berry's new terms will be as a squad player, although when he comes on, he lights up the pitch. However, certain players on this graphic, Thorpe, Muskwe (and potentially Freeman), I can't see them staying at the club next season. Elliot Thorpe joined the club on the promise of an easier route into the first team than if he stayed at Spurs, and he has been shunted out to the right wing whenever he has been lucky enough to make a brief cameo, this was after his disastrous loan to Burton in the first half of the season. Admiral Muskwe, is simply not good enough, he had a brief glimmer of form prior to the AFCON last season, but he returned and has been subpar. He spent the first half of the season at Fleetwood, scoring 3 goals (2 pens), and obviously Edwards was not impressed, as Muskwe couldn't even make the bench once Cauley was ruled out for the season.
One thing that is striking with this graphic, is the severe lack of depth throughout the team now (moreso due to the two players mentioned above). This is certainly not surprising, after all we have seen two first team players released in Bradley and Lansbury, as well as the return of Drameh and Nakamba (and Horvath too). Up top, outside of Elijah Adebayo and Carlton Morris, there is no plan B other than Cauley Woodrow, who has played in the Premier League as a fresh faced 17 year old, whereas Joe Taylor is likely to get loaned out for some minutes. Midfield is lacking in numbers, so I expect some bodies to be brought in there too. Defence is probably where we look best, but again one or two players need to be brought in. And last but not least, we need a keeper. A lot of work is needed to be done by the recruitment team at Luton Town, and I'm sure it will be. I don't think the refresh is going to be just limited to Muskwe and Thorpe (and potentially Freeman) from the graphic above, we may end up seeing some more players moving on that could surprise us fans, because quite simply, we are down to 20 players, the players returning from loan are not good enough and certain players in the above 20 will simply be unable to cut it at Premier League level, playing the system that was so successful under Rob Edwards.
As ever though, trust in the board and recruitment staff running things, because they have very rarely let us down before. Keep checking the Oak Road Hatter website, because more transfer content is on the way, including Steve Moore discussing what he would do if he were put in charge for the Summer window, where he takes a deep dive into potential budget, outgoings and incomings. We are Premier League. Remember that.