Nathan Jones’s Luton Town have had a very Championship season thus far. They have impressed with an adaptive and versatile style of play where they have been able to control games well as well as nullify the opposition’s threats.
Luton have one of the largest squads, but they rarely rotate their starting 11 unless forced into doing so by injury or suspension.
Notably, Luton have made Nathan Jones’s task of ‘clipping the squad’s average age’ very public. Jones described the summer transfer window as ‘very successful’.
The Current Squad
Luton Town have an average age in their starting eleven this season of 26.7. In addition to this, they also have used the third fewest number of players in their squad (23).
Jones has publicly reminded people that a large portion of his squad have been there since the League Two days. The players he has helped bring into Luton have proved to be shrewd acquisitions, particularly Rhys Norrington-Davis.
He has also stated that: “we have got to a point where to continue, to maintain and then to evolve, you have to look what’s underneath and to constantly be clipping the average age as eventually people will move on.” This clearly points to Jones’s awareness and desire to evolve his squad in order to remain competitive in the Championship.
Firstly, the depth in attack can definitely be improved on for Luton. Jones has mostly played a 4-3-3 this season and some attacking players like Harry Cornick have been used right across the front three. However, he only has two assists and is yet to score this season. Other players like Elliot Lee only have one goal and one assist in eight matches.
Similar to Harry Cornick, Lee has also been deployed in a lot different roles this season. Luton Town could really use a player that is a younger, more dynamic option to share the goalscoring responsibilities.
First Suggestion – Luke Jephcott (Plymouth Argyle)
The 20-year-old striker for Plymouth Argyle has had a great campaign so far, scoring 8 goals in just 10 starts. His goalscoring isn’t his only impressive attribute, he has more key passes (passes directly leading to shots) per 90 than any Luton attacker.
There is no doubt that Jephcott has talent and is beginning to make a name for himself in League One. The obvious doubt here would be that he is in the middle of a season where he has been, and no doubt will be, instrumental to Plymouth’s chances of staying up. So, will they be willing to let him go?
Jephcott does fit the mould of a Nathan Jones signing. He has experience, albeit not much, in English football; and he is competing at a level that Jones himself is familiar with. This is certainly a feasible move transfer.
Second Suggestion – Marcel Lewis (Chelsea)
This suggestion is a little left field but is a transfer that seems to make more sense the more you consider it.
Lewis is an academy product of Chelsea. He is described as an attacking midfielder who can also play out wide. Nathan Jones more recently has been putting out a 4-2-3-1 formation and Lewis’s creativity from midfield would suit this.
Lewis has been a big part of Chelsea’s under-18 and later development squad for a while now. He scored nine goals in thirty-one academy matches in 2019/20. The nineteen-year-old started his journey at Cambridge United and will be looking to gather minutes in professional football soon, and Chelsea’s use of the loan system in the last few years may signal hope for some lower league clubs of bringing him in on loan.
The disadvantages of transfer are obvious. He is unproven in professional football and still yet to experience football outside the Chelsea development squad. However, his versatility and dynamism may see him excel in a squad role for a Championship side.