Why Alfie Doughty is Luton Town’s driving force
Before joining Luton Town just over a year ago, Alfie Doughty was struggling for game time at Cardiff City and was yet to fully establish himself as a Championship quality player.
Fast forward 12 months and he’s played a pivotal role in the Hatters' promotion to the Premier League, thriving in a left wing back role under Rob Edwards.
Doughty celebrates his goal against QPR | Photo copyright of Luton Town/Gareth Owen
As with many other players, Doughty has flourished at Luton, leaving his former clubs to wonder how they didn’t manage to get the best out of the young wing back.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Doughty however, struggling with injuries at the beginning of the campaign and only featuring 6 times under Nathan Jones.
However, with a change of manager came a change of fortune for Doughty, starting all but three league games under Rob Edwards.
Why is Alfie Doughty so vital for Luton Town?
Luton have utilised the three at the back formation for a couple of years now, a system which puts big emphasis on the wing backs. When Rob Edwards arrived in November, the emphasis on the wide players only grew further leaving Doughty to become one of the Town’s most important players.
Going forward Doughty was one of the best in the league in his position, with a staggering 4.06 shot creating actions per 90, better than 98% of Championship full backs.
Doughty always looks forward with the ball at his feet under Edwards, in the top 20% of Championship full backs for progressive passes and dribbles per 90, critical in transition for the Hatters.
He also managed 5 assists in the league, the majority of which came from crosses into the box. the 23-year-old would never hesitate to look for Morris or Adebayo at the earliest possible opportunity , his early crosses playing an important role in Lutons direct system.
One part of his game that may have been under appreciated by Town fans however is the defensive side. Doughty find himself in the top 20% of full backs for tackles and aerial duels won per 90 and top 12% for blocks.
It’s this defensive stability which really puts Doughty on another level for me, and something we will see a lot more of this season due to the higher calibre of team the Hatters will be playing against.
Doughty will be faced with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Mohammed Salah, so will have to improve even further if he wants to solidify himself as a Premier League player.
There is no doubt he is capable of the step up though, and a player the Town will hope stays fit in their bid for top flight survival.
Featured image: Copyright of Gareth Owen/LTFC