The Adebayo-Cornick partnership is back... For now
Carlton Morris has missed out on Luton Town's two recent trips to Wigan Athletic, providing last season's deadly duo of Elijah Adebayo and Harry Cornick with an opportunity to step up in his absence. The pair struck quite the partnership last time out and quite clearly offer a differing set of attributes, that when combined, has caused chaos for Championship defences.
During the last two games at Wigan, Adebayo scored twice whilst Cornick scored once and grabbed two assists. The pair appear to be re-finding their form with each other's help, but the duo have had experience in the past at being a prolific and fearsome strike force together, the arrival of Carlton Morris just caused a rift in the pair's partnership. Although Morris' introduction positively impacted the team, it meant that either Cornick or Adebayo were dropped from the starting eleven.
Cornick was the strike partner to be dropped, but the proof is in the pudding that he still can record numbers. This season Cornick has played in 19 Championship games, 7 being starts and he has got a goal and 3 assists but in his last four games in all competitions, he has charted 2 goals and 2 assists. This means that the 27-year-old is currently playing at a goal contribution per game, as he proves doubters wrong.
Looking over to his 21/22 strike partner, this season, Adebayo has played in 25 Championship games, 23 being starts, and in that time he has racked up 5 goals and an assist. These numbers seem significantly low to what he was charting last season, but form, the introduction of Morris, injuries and another handful of reasons could've impacted this. Last season, Adebayo ended his campaign with 16 goals in 40 games, with 19 games of the season to play, the striker would have to 11 more goals in his remaining fixtures to just match his record. Although this seems doubtful, just like Cornick, Adebayo is starting to pick up form again. Adebayo has 3 goals in his last 3 games in all competitions, 1 in each of those games, if he continues on like that, he will smash his record.
After their heart-breaking defeat to Huddersfield in the Play-off semi-final, there was no denying that Luton needed to strengthen their squad depth. Up front, the options were limited as an ageing legend in Danny Hylton ended his stay at Kenilworth Road, leaving the Hatters with another veteran in Cameron Jerome, Harry Cornick and Elijah Adebayo. The three options were not enough to fall back on as Adebayo faced injuries throughout the season and Jerome was struggling to play in every single fixture. So in the Summer, Luton's transfer team raided relegated side Barnsley for their attacker options taking both Carlton Morris and Cauley Woodrow. The Hatters even broke their record transfer fee to bring in Morris. With two new additions, things started to shape up nicely, but as we stated the partnership of Cornick and Adebayo was split up.
In the 21/22 Championship campaign, Cornick and Adebayo started a total of 27 games together, in those games, the pair produced 21 goals and 7 assists meaning they only made 8 other goal contributions they didn't start together or either one didn't play. Morris has been the front-runner and main man for Luton this season as he has recorded 11 Championship goals and 5 assists on the side. Whilst he was at Barnsley, his injury worries were a big concern and he spent a large amount of time on the sidelines. It has been reported that he has a calf injury but should be back soon. However, it's a relief that Hatters fans know they can once again rely on Harry Cornick and Elijah Adebayo to find the back of the net.
The immediate future of Cornick at Kenilworth Road remains to be seen as Swansea City and Bristol City have tabled bids for the 27-year-old, as reported by Football Insider.
By Jake Blackwood