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  • Writer's pictureBilly Mulley

Tom Lockyer amidst Luton Town's defensive conundrum

The summer transfer window is entering its concluding stages, and whilst Luton Town certainly possess a squad to be excited by, Nathan Jones had suggested that a defensive reinforcement could complete his summer business.

Jones has remained consistent in his stance regarding a potential defensive arrival, and that is if the right player comes along, he will explore that possibility, however, highlighting that he is content with current options.

Of course, the departure of Kal Naismith upset the balance within the backline earlier in the summer, given his excellent progressive abilities, however, Dan Potts' performances have been excellent thus far, whilst there is a growing feeling that Amari'i Bell will challenge for that left-sided centre-back spot when Alfie Doughty returns to full fitness.

At present, and disregarding Bell as an option whilst Doughty is still unavailable, there are five options for three central defensive slots, and the first few games of the season saw Tom Lockyer as perhaps the fifth choice.

However, assured by Jones that game time would be coming his way, Lockyer has been immense over the last couple of matches, and the numbers back that up.

Looking at the data recorded from the five centre-backs used thus far in the Championship this season, using Wyscout, Lockyer has averaged 10.7 successful defensive actions per 90 and 7.63 possession-adjusted interceptions, with the Welshman sitting at the summit. Then, when looking at the defensive duels won (%) and aerial duels per 90, he ranks second out of the five, being edged by Sonny Bradley and Dan Potts respectively.

Interestingly, the data suggest he is probably our most progressive defender thus far this season, admittedly from a small sample size of games. Lockyer's 35.09 passes per game sees him in second place to Bradley, however, he has recorded the most progressive passes per 90 (9.21) out of the five, whilst the accuracy of his progressive passes (67.43) is second only to Reece Burke.

One more defensive addition may occur before the closure of the summer transfer window but if Luton are to head into the rest of the first half of the campaign with the current options available, then Jones will still be more than confident.

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