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Nakamba A Solid Addition But Luton Must Show More Ambition

Luton Town’s Newest Addition: Marvelous Nakamba

Aston Villa’s Midfielder Joins The Ranks

Luton Town have completed the signing of Marvelous Nakamba from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee, making the Zimbabwean midfielder their fourth addition of this summer’s transfer window.

The Hatters were promoted to the Premier League after defeating Coventry City on penalties in the play-off final, earning a return to the top flight of English football for the first time in the Premier League era.

Remembering Luton’s History in Premier League

Luton’s 10-year spell among England’s elite came to an end at the end of the 1991-92 season when they finished 20th of 22 teams and missed out on the forthcoming riches of the Premier League.

Having worked miracles to drag themselves from non-league to the Premier League, the return of Luton Town was the type of feel-good story that English football needs more of. The manner of their promotion made it all the better.

The Journey to Promotion

With a squad built smartly on a shoestring budget, and some very clever loans from Premier League teams, Luton began the season under Nathan Jones with hopes of promotion having reached the playoffs the previous season.

They were in a decent position for another playoff push when, in November, Nathan Jones decided to walk out on the club for the second time in three years. Having seemingly learned nothing from his short and disastrous spell at Stoke City, Jones jumped ship to take over at Southampton.

Rob Edwards: An Unexpected Genius

Luton were left scrambling but pulled off a masterstroke. Bitter rivals Watford had sacked Rob Edwards only four months after stealing him from Forest Green Rovers, once again proving that no up-and-coming manager should ever consider a job at Vicarage Road.

Appointing a manager who had been sacked so quickly from his last job is always seen as a risk, to appoint a manager sacked by the club who are your biggest rivals could fairly be described as madness. But within madness, you will often find genius, and the appointment of Edwards proved just that.

Edwards masterminded a late-season surge that saw Luton climb to third in the table and end up victorious in the playoffs. While the celebrations were still ongoing, however, questions were being asked about how they would fare in the top flight. The Luton squad did not contain players who have proven themselves at the highest level.

Their recruits thus far this summer appear more suited for a return to the Championship, than a sustained run in the Premier League. Tahith Chong, Chiedozie Ogbene and Mads Juel Andersen are all fine players, proven performers at the Championship level, but they have a combined 65 minutes of Premier League action between them. 

Marvelous Nakamba: The Premier League Struggler Finds His Home

Nakamba has played in the Premier League for Aston Villa but never quite seemed comfortable and after an inconsistent first season with the club, he was relegated to a squad role. A willing tackler who’s not afraid to do the dirty work, he struggled in possession. At the Championship level last season, during his loan with Luton, he seemed far more at home.

Looking Ahead: Luton’s Premier League Strategy

These would be fine signings for an assault on the Championship, but at the Premier League level, Luton will need more quality. It’s understandable that they are taking the course they are, being careful not to get loaded down with expensive contracts in the case of relegation, but hopefully, they will attack the loan market as they did last season.

Recent reports suggest a move for Manchester City’s Issa Kabore could be on the cards and that would be an excellent move. The Burkina Faso defender is a very good right back and could potentially play on the right side of Luton’s back three should they need him to. A couple more like him, and perhaps the Hatters won’t be a one-and-done proposition.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The three divisions below the Premier League is littered with clubs that ‘showed a little too much ambition’ – many of which experienced serious financial difficulties for doing so.

  2. Luton have brought in a lot of players who were not really rated (even by the supporters of the selling club) over the last few years – Amari’i Bell being an obvious caae in point.
    The main thing for Luton is that the player is capable of playing the system and they are able to fit into the squad.
    You could be the most technically gifted player in the world, but if your work ethic isn’t top notch then you probably won’t make it at Luton.

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