The 2021/22 Championship campaign is fast approaching and Luton Town are about to embark on their third successive season in the division.
The Hatters narrowly escaped relegation during the 2019/20 season, before securing a top-half finish last time out.
Since then, eight fresh faces have walked through the doors at Kenilworth Road, and a sense of optimism for the new campaign is widely felt amongst the Luton faithful.
Luton Town 2021/22: Five Hatters to Look Out for
Arriving in the summer of last year, Jordan Clark has proved to be an excellent pick-up from the lower division. The wide-man joined from Accrington Stanley on a free ahead of last season, and almost immediately adapted to the technical demands of the second-tier.
Clark proved himself last season, but his versatility saw him fill gaps when necessary. With The Hatters now seemingly well-stocked all across the pitch, Clark is expected to see more minutes on the right flank.
However, the 27-year-old has also proven to be a highly effective number 10 this pre-season – as well as continuing to impress on the wing. It seems the days of Clark operating from full-back positions are coming to an end, and he is expected to have more of an attacking influence this time around.
Clark’s attacking intelligence, quick feet, and subsequent end-product, all make him a very exciting prospect for this upcoming campaign.
Fred Onyedinma has grabbed another chance to remain a Championship player this summer, and the early signs suggest that he could become an integral part of Luton’s season.
The left-winger has instantaneously formed a strong relationship with the towering Elijah Adebayo, and the 24-year-old has the direct running and final ball to really threaten from wide areas.
He will certainly face competition for a starting spot from the exciting Carlos Mendes-Gomes, but Onyedinma has seemingly been favoured over pre-season.
The creative spark and attacking flair that Kazenga LuaLua possessed and had displayed in a Luton shirt has perhaps been filled by the former Wycombe Wanders man, but that remains to be seen.
Hailed as the Lanarkshire Kante by Motherwell fans before his arrival south of the border, Allan Campbell is another exciting addition at Kenilworth Road.
The 22-year-old is able to operate in a holding role but has proved most effective this pre-season playing as more of a box-to-box midfielder. Campbell has the relentless energy and tenacity to win possession back but has the composure and range of passing to control the middle of the park.
He was a highly sought-after individual during the early parts of summer, and that has brought on some sort of expectation amongst Luton fans. However, Campbell promises to be an excellent player for The Hatters.
Elijah Adebayo adapted seamlessly to Championship football during the second half of last season, after spending the opening months with Walsall in League Two. The towering front-man had to sit patient when he first arrived but proved to be a real nuisance in what remained of the campaign.
His aerial ability and physicality, coupled with his knack for scoring goals, saw Adebayo emerge as Luton’s first-choice striker by the end of the 2020/21 season, and now he is expected to continue on that same trajectory.
Adebayo is still 23 years old and has the potential to thrive in England’s second-tier once again. He has now had a full pre-season with The Hatters and he will be hoping to emerge as a talismanic figure for the Bedfordshire club.
Luton picked up Tom Lockyer from Charlton Athletic after The Addicks were relegated from the Championship in 2020.
The Welsh international had to sit patiently in the opening stages of the season, with Matty Pearson and Sonny Bradley starting the season off strongly, however, when he broke into the team, he brought composure and a bit more control to Luton’s backline.
Lockyer’s distribution from defensive areas, and his aerial dominance despite not being the tallest defender in the world, saw him emerge as one of the first names on the team sheet. However, an injury in early February cut his season short.
Despite losing some competition for a starting place after Pearson’s departure, Luton have signed Hull City’s Reece Burke, who will certainly keep him on his toes.
If Lockyer can stay fit, then Luton, as a collective, will reap the rewards.