Luton Town have been busy in the early stages of this transfer window and have brought seven fresh faces to Kenilworth Road thus far.
Six out of the seven new arrivals were on show during The Hatters’ 7-0 thrashing of Hitchin Town on Saturday afternoon, with Amari’i Bell being on international duty for Jamaica.
However, the question that has dominated the minds of Luton fans since their retained list was announced in late May, is whether Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu would sign a new deal.
Nathan Jones did indicate that the club have been very patient with the 27-year-old, as reported by Luton Today, but it is coming to a point where decisions need to be made.
The midfielder has made over 250 appearances for Luton during his eight-year tenure – a career that has seen him rise from the National League with the Bedfordshire club.
Mpanzu formed a formidable partnership with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in midfield last season, and with the Leicester City loanee heading back to his parent club, and the 27-year-old’s situation not yet resolved, a big void could be left.
Here we look at one winner and one loser if the Luton Town legend does sign a new contract…
Winner – Elijah Adebayo
Whilst gaining the reputation of being a powerhouse of a midfielder, Mpanzu’s crossing ability emerged as a powerful weapon for The Hatters during the 2020/21 campaign.
The 27-year-old’s tendency to find himself edging towards the right wing allowed him to receive possession and find the back post on several occasions.
Coupled with Adebayo’s aerial presence, this combination caused havoc in the latter stages of the season, whilst James Collins also benefitted from Mpanzu’s service.
The fact that the towering striker will be working closely with Mick Harford for a full pre-season would certainly boost the Adebayo-Mpanzu partnership, should the latter sign.
Loser – Luke Berry
Like Mpanzu, Berry has risen through the leagues with Luton and has starred at each level.
Berry’s attacking intelligence from a midfield position, coupled with his desire to get forward and support the play has brought The Hatters great success over the last few years.
However, Berry saw little game time last season and the signing of Mpanzu would not help his chances. The Hatters have already brought Allan Campbell and Henry Lansbury to Kenilworth Road, and with Nathan Jones hoping to bring 2-3 more players in, it is likely that Berry may see even fewer minutes.
Berry has proven to be a scorer of important goals in the past and has shown he can perform in the Championship, but his influence will most probably come from the bench next season.