Much like last summer, Luton will be hoping that they avoid key players leaving. Fortunately, Luton Town are enjoying another huge season mixing it at the top of the division with teams operating on 5-10x of our operating costs. Unfortunately though, contracts run down, and interest in our best players, from competing clubs with much larger budgets means that it is inevitable some will depart. Although players depart, it certainly doesn't mean they are going onto bigger and better things - sure bigger salaries - but in the case of Kal Naismith, Bristol City's season is not a patch on ours.
It isn't easy finding out the exact length of time remaining on Luton contracts, the club don't disclose this information, so transfermarkt, fanbase hearsay and educated guesses have been used as a rough guide. Normally, we give our players 3 year contracts, so we can use that assumption as further information as to when a Luton player's contract ends. A rule of thumb would indicate that players who Luton Town signed at the beginning of the 2020/21 season will be entering the final months of their contracts, fortunately Jordan Clark has been tied up with a new deal, the remaining two players signed during that summer window are; Tom Lockyer and Gabe Osho, with Bree, Naismith and Morrell all having flown the Kenny nest.
The players that might leave are divided up into two categories, those who may be out of contract and those who other clubs will be looking at. I have also used a percentage system to determine the chances a player has of leaving. Disclaimer: this is a prediction based on if Luton Town miss out on promotion.
Out of contract
Tom Lockyer | 50% chance of leaving
Lockyer joined in the summer of the 2020/21 season, so we can assume that his contract is running out this summer, there is no indication if he has an optional extension. Luton will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the Kal Naismith situation, where the Town lost one of their most influential players for nothing. However, Lockyer knows that he is a future club captain, he is beloved by the Kenilworth faithful, and like Clark who signed a new contract, this is the highest level he has played at, so there is some hope that he will sign that new deal. It is imperative that Luton keep the Welshman as his performances are so reliable in defence, and he is almost always available.
Gabe Osho | 40% chance of leaving
Gabe has received his fair share of criticism this season from sections of the Luton fanbase, but renewing him would still make sense. His performances in recent weeks have been excellent with his bursting runs from the back repaying Rob Edwards' faith in picking him. He is also dependable and versatile option to have fill in the back 3 when injuries hit. Keeping him on would be a low risk move, and he is only 24 years old, so he has a lot of time to grow as a player. It would make more sense to renew him than bring someone else in. Rumours have stated that Luton Town have an option to extend his contract for another 12 months.
Luke Berry | 50% chance of leaving
At 30 years old, Luke Berry will be conscious of the fact that his playing time has reduced this season and last season. His ability to find space anywhere and score goals from nothing makes him a truly unique option to have in the squad. He is a brilliant player who deserves to be starting somewhere, and at Luton it is hard for him to do so because of the quality and depth of midfield players we possess. He has said recently that he "loves playing for Luton" and he doesn't "get moody" about not playing, which may hint that a new deal may be on the table for him, albeit with a reduced role, so there is evidence that he may stay.
Henri Lansbury | 70% chance of leaving
This time we will disregard the 3 year contract rule since Lansbury was signed at the age of 30, at the beginning of the 21/22 season. He is likely on high wages, considering his experience and journey he has been on during his career, so a 2 year contract would have made more sense for both him and the club. This season, Lansbury has suffered from injury, and recently he hasn't been in the squad, despite being fit. While he is talented, it makes little sense for Luton to renew him because of his age and his role in the squad. Although he is a very good character to have around the changing room, but with his Grass Gains business taking off, it appears he's fancying a career change.
Carlton Morris | 30% chance of leaving
With 14 goals and 5 assists at the time of writing, Carlton's stellar performances will not have gone unnoticed by Premier League teams looking to bolster their attack. Luckily for Luton, the goalscoring abilities of Chuba Akpom and Victor Gyokeres may be overshadowing him and getting the eyes of Premier League Scouts and Analysts cast in different directions. If a bid were to come in, Luton should be demanding at least 8 figures for the 27 year old, as he is truly the complete package. Having signed with us at the beginning of this (22/23) season, it's likely his contract runs for another 24 months. We are certainly in a strong position with Carlton.
Alfie Doughty | 30% chance of leaving
The pacey 23 year old wing back has been one of Luton's best players since finding his feet following his niggly injuries, and he has notched an impressive 3 assists and a goal. He has shown great versatility, operating on both the left and right sides of the pitch. It would not be surprising to see him linked to some Premier League or upper Championship clubs. Like with Carlton, he only signed this season therefore Luton can be expected to achieve an above market rate fee, if a bid were to come in, perhaps in the region of £5-10million. However, it could also be argued that it would be best for him to continue his development with Luton.
Elijah Adebayo | 50% chance of leaving
Due to the fact that in the summer he will most likely only has one year left on his contract, Elijah might prove a valuable option to clubs needing a striker. In what is likely to be two double digit scoring Championship seasons, don't be too surprised if the 25 year old striker is again linked to more clubs like he was last summer. Because of his contract situation, signing him will be easier than before, so expect Luton to ask for a fee of at least £8million if he were to leave. Remember we turned down a bid from DC United in the summer for £5 million, perhaps he is still on Wayne Rooney's radar. However, him staying and potentially seeing out the last year of his contract is just as likely, although it would be a gut punch to see him running down his contract.
Carlos Mendes Gomes | 70% chance of leaving
Mendes-Gomes has enjoyed a solid season for Fleetwood on loan, scoring 6 goals and assisting twice. It would be lovely to see him come back and win a place in the Luton team, but with Adebayo, Morris and Woodrow available up front, breaking through would be tough, and our formation doesn't suit his best position, which is left winger. However, he has played striker occasionally this season, perhaps Rob Edwards will assess him in the summer, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him sold, maybe to Fleetwood as they are enjoying the recruitment of former Hatters. It is an unfortunate situation, considering Mendes-Gomes arrived with a fair bit of hype, but he's young and needs to kick his career on.
Elliot Thorpe | 70% chance of leaving
The young midfielder clearly has a lot of potential, but with Watson, Clark, Pelly, and Campbell ahead of him, the Welshman isn't going to get much game time, so it makes sense for him to leave on loan again, or more likely for him to go permanently. He still has a bright future ahead of him, but it would be wasted if his only chance of playing is at right wing back in cup competitions. It is certainly not the way he would have thought his career would pan out after leaving Spurs to join the Hatters to have a better chance of playing first team football.
Glen Rea | 90% chance to leave
Rea is so far down the pecking order and has struggled with injuries for a while, so it is probable that the 28 year old will drop down a level in search of more playing time. A great servant to the club, and I hope he kicks on at Cheltenham
Harry Isted | 90% chance to leave
Isted has been in good form recently for Barnsley, and as he is 26, it doesn't make sense for him to still be at the club as likely the third or even fourth choice keeper. Shea and Walton will be here next season, so Isted will be free to leave, perhaps Barnsley will take him permanently, not a bad transfer for the Tykes.
To conclude, it doesn't look like there will be a large squad churn this summer. Most of our key players will be safe, and if they are sold we should get big money for them, which is ideal for the club. Still, the two main issues are whether Lockyer will sign a new contract, and if Adebayo does as well. It has been stated by Rob Edwards following Jordan Clarks' contract renewal that the club are in discussion with various others.
Prediction: Adebayo, Lansbury, Rea, Thorpe, Mendes-Gomes, Isted all to leave.
By Samuel Roy