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Snog, Marry, Avoid - Summer 2021

Kenneth E End

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Only a quarter left of the season - most teams have something to play for still, but a number of teams have got into a position where they are consolidated in the Championship and unlikely to go up or down. Who would you keep, unsure of or get rid?

Luton Town Football Club
*Working assumption that they will remain in the Championship next season.

Goalkeepers
Simon Sluga
- KEEP - Under contract. He has been fantastic all season and has not put a foot wrong at all. I fear an offer will come in of around £3m+ that we cannot turn down, which would double our money.
James Shea - KEEP - Offer new contract. No need to replace him, although he is 30 this summer. He might be coming to a point in his career where he wants more first team football in League 1?
Harry Isted - UNSURE - Out of contract. Is he realistically going to be good enough to push the 2 main keepers? I doubt it.

Defenders
Martin Cranie
- UNSURE - Out of contract. Had a good season defensively and has real technical quality still, but now mid 30s. Perhaps next season could be a year too far at this level and could be an opportunity for Luton to progress the side.
Dan Potts - KEEP - Offer new contract. He's changed my opinion in recent weeks and has really improved his game, however he shouldn't be seen as anything more than backup.
Sonny Bradley - KEEP - Offer new contract. Easily in the top 2 defenders this season. Monumental effort at the back up to his recent injury induced mistakes.
Matty Pearson - KEEP - Offer new contract. Proven to be fairly versatile, but again, probably has to be a backup next season.
Tom Lockyer - KEEP - Under contract. Best defender and best signing of the season.
Peter Kioso - KEEP - Offer new contract. Deserves an extension and in my opinion, should be closer to the first team than he is.
Brendan Galloway - GET RID - Out of contract. Chronically injured.
Kal Naismith - KEEP - Under contract. Extremely versatile.
James Bree - UNSURE - Under contract. Really don't know where he is going in his career. Had a great end to last, but has spent a lot of the season injured and when he has had a chance, he hasn't really taken it.
Gabriel Osho - UNSURE - Got something about him, but we have a lot of defenders and I'm not sure he will get enough time in the team.

Midfielders
Ryan Tunnicliffe - KEEP - Offer new contract. Really impressed me in the last few weeks - keep this up to the end of the year and he gets a new deal. Deserves to play higher up the pitch.
Luke Berry - KEEP - Under contract. Had a good start to the season, faded in recent months.
George Moncur - UNSURE - Out of contract. He has done really well this year so don't understand why he hasn't had much of a chance in recent weeks. Again, we may need to move him on to progress the side.
Glen Rea - KEEP - Under contract. Great player when we're in a defensive mindset and one of the key reasons for our clean sheets, however has had horror shows in some games.
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu - KEEP - Offer new contract. Fairly consistent and longest serving player. Deserves a new deal if he wants it.
Jordan Clark - KEEP - Under contract. Proving to be very versatile and always gives 100%.
Joe Morrell - UNSURE - Under contract. Got clear quality and we paid £200k for him, but don't think Jones fancies him.

Forwards
Harry Cornick - KEEP - Under contract. Needs goals but clearly a threat.
Danny Hylton - GET RID - Transfer list. Not good enough and shouldn't have got a 2 year contract last summer. I think it is 28 appearances without a goal now.
Elliot Lee - GET RID - Transfer list. Think he has found a good home at Oxford. I doubt he will return.
James Collins - KEEP - Offer new contract. Got double figures again this season - he needs to get some goals before the end of the year purely for confidence reasons if anything else. Deserves a new deal.
Kazenga LuaLua - GET RID - Out of contract. Not done enough to get a deal and not convinced of his attitude.
Elijah Adebayo - KEEP - Under contract. Going to be a real player in the next 1-2 years.

Development Players
Tiernan Parker
- KEEP - he may be the option for the third keeper.
Avan Jones - KEEP - in pre-season he looked really promising. Needs to get out next season to a Conference team for experience.
Sam Beckwith - KEEP - as above.
Jake Peck - UNSURE - been around the setup for a while. Is he going to progress? Probably let go to allow someone beneath him to maybe come through.
Corey Panter - UNSURE - as above.
Jack Chambers - not seen him.
TQ Addy - not seen him.
Dion Pereira - KEEP - got in a couple of squads earlier in the season, but slightly older than the rest. Got a good CV.
Josh Neufville - KEEP - good reviews at Yeovil. Probably needs to push on next season.

Loan Players
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall
- Going to be a Premier League player next season.
Sam Nombe - I doubt will return next season and may have fallen out with the Franchise too.
Tom Ince - Not played many games thus far.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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I think we will get rid of a few more than you have there, can see quite a bit of player turn over this summer after a lot was made of the “recruitment restructure” to stabilise us at the level.

Pearson, Cranie, I think will go and perhaps even Berry, Moncur as well. Got a feeling Collins will move on as well somehow. I think the core that have taken us from league 2 to here is probably going to be largely phased out. We’ve kind of already started that with Lee, Shinnie going. Maybe it won’t be as radical as I’m expecting and you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water but I think we will have a very different looking squad next season, certainly the starting 11 I think could have a very different complexion. Hoping we don’t go into next season with Potts at starting fullback!

Id be wary of keeping Tunnicliffe, feels very much like the Bree situation last season where in my view we got suckered in by a few good games toward the end of the season despite a largely average season overall. Maybe I’m being harsh on Bree as he has been injured a lot this season but just be wary of that making a similar mistake.
 

Kenneth E End

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I think we will get rid of a few more than you have there, can see quite a bit of player turn over this summer after a lot was made of the “recruitment restructure” to stabilise us at the level.

Pearson, Cranie, I think will go and perhaps even Berry, Moncur as well. Got a feeling Collins will move on as well somehow. I think the core that have taken us from league 2 to here is probably going to be largely phased out. We’ve kind of already started that with Lee, Shinnie going. Maybe it won’t be as radical as I’m expecting and you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water but I think we will have a very different looking squad next season, certainly the starting 11 I think could have a very different complexion. Hoping we don’t go into next season with Potts at starting fullback!

Id be wary of keeping Tunnicliffe, feels very much like the Bree situation last season where in my view we got suckered in by a few good games toward the end of the season despite a largely average season overall. Maybe I’m being harsh on Bree as he has been injured a lot this season but just be wary of that making a similar mistake.
I wouldn't be surprised if there was a higher turnover of players either, although if we finish mid table I can see Jones being pretty loyal. A lot of players out of contract, so an opportunity to reshape the squad.
 

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I read today that we have an option on Pelly for another year if we want it, which i assume we will.
 

Luke Imp

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A shame Morrell isn't getting much game time. There's a player in there for Championship level.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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A shame Morrell isn't getting much game time. There's a player in there for Championship level.

I think there is too but the system needs to be right for him, which I don’t think we are suited to him yet, and he needs to improve his play when out of possession.

With the ball he’s shown himself to be pretty good but out of possession his lack of athleticism really gets exposed at this level and he’s easy to bypass. Most midfields at this level are packed with really athletic players and he gets lost in the wash a bit. He’s had decent games when played but there’s also been ones where he has been genuinely shocking out of possession because the games been just too physically intense for him and he’s had to be hooked at half time as a result.

As mentioned above I think next season we might have a different complexion about us as a squad so Ill be interested to see where he is early next season. We might have a side more suited to him by then and a solid pre season to learn what NJ wants from him in terms of our press and shape without the ball.
 

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He seems better suited as one of two deeper mids which we dont do. So a 4231 And we tend to play just one. Although Im surpised we havent gone that route as with Collo or Adebayor we have players like Clark Cornick and Pelly that would work well in the three and Rea Tunni and or Morell as the two and Pelly can obv too.
 

Luke Imp

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Here he was far more suited to being allowed to get forward and did it very well. Admittedly he was the most mobile of our midfield last season so that's perhaps why Appleton gave him a bit more freedom but he was a bit of a terrier who enjoyed pressing high up the pitch and winning possession back.
 

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I don't want to keep any of our players.

I'd just re-loan Iversen if possible.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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Here he was far more suited to being allowed to get forward and did it very well. Admittedly he was the most mobile of our midfield last season so that's perhaps why Appleton gave him a bit more freedom but he was a bit of a terrier who enjoyed pressing high up the pitch and winning possession back.
Yeah when played he has been at defensive midfield, looking to pick up from the centre halves and play forward which at times he’s been good at. But without the ball it’s been as above.

He hasn’t been good enough to displace Pelly or Dewsbury-Hall further forward and to be honest I’d be very much surprised if we was athletic enough to play those positions in our midfield at this level given the physically Intense nature of the championship but I’d be open to giving him a go.

Basically he’s been caught between being a reasonable deep lying playmaker who’s pretty limited at the defensive side of what that entails, and not being dynamic enough to play further forward. I could see him coming good next season in the right type of midfield set up.
 

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Begs the question why we spent 200k on him
 

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Goalkeepers

Daniel Iversen - This guy is quality, still learning and will drop the odd bollock but we need to try and re-sign him. Re-Loan
Declan Rudd - Improved a lot in the 18 months leading up to his injury, he he re-finds that form then he would provide good competition. Keep
Conor Ripley - Fat & shit. Get Rid
Matthew Hudson - Seems to just keep getting 12 month extensions so we have enough keepers in training.
Get Rid

Defenders


Joe Rafferty - Talentless. Get Rid
Sepp Van Den Berg - Shown a lot of promise but not sure what his position is yet. Re-Loan
Paul Huntington - Still steady if he has pace alongside him, signed an extension. Keep
Patrick Bauer - Have to hope he comes back from injury ok as he's our best defender now. Keep
Jordan Storey - I pretty much hate him and he costs us goals for fun. Loan out. I think he'll stick around though..
Liam Lindsay - Not good enough. Don't sign
Andrew Hughes - He's ok back up, think he'll see out his contract. Keep
Greg Cunningham - Good player but I don't think he'll play enough games due to injury. Get Rid

Midfielder

Ben Whiteman - Haven't been blown away by him so far but think he'll be a good player for us. Keep
Jayson Molumby - Average jack of all trades. Don't sign.
Ryan Ledson - He's thick as fuck but had a decent enough season. Keep.
Paul Gallagher - Full time coach for the rest of the year, think he'll retire in the summer. Coaching role.
Tom Bayliss - Never gets a sniff, still pretty young, unknown quantity. Keep

Attacking Midfield

Alan Browne - Needs to be played further forward where he can be an asset. Keep
Daniel Johnson - We know how good he is but he's been utter wank this year, needs to sort it out. Keep
Brad Potts - Good option, especially in away games when we want to press. Keep
Billy Bodin - Shite and a walking injury. Release
Scott Sinclair - Frustrating but our top scorer. Keep
Sean Maguire - Signed a contract extension in the summer I think but just a back up player these days. Keep
Anthony Gordon - Bags of talent but no end product so far, not sure Everton will want him to come back here. Don't sign.

Strikers

Louis Moult - Never known anyone pick up as many long term injuries. Release.
Emil Riis - Think he'll develop into a really good player. Keep
Ched Evans - Good player, worth another year. Keep.

Out on loan

Jayden Stockley - Not good enough - Get Rid.
Josh Earl - Has the ingredients to be a good player one day but doesn't improve defensively. Loan out again.
Josh Ginnelly - Not good enough. Get Rid
Graham Burke - Not good enough, already signed a pre-contract at Shamrock. Get Rid
David Nugent - Past it. Release
Ethan Walker - Only 18. Loan out again.
Jack Baxter - Been around for a while now, keeps getting shit loan moves. Get Rid.
Adam O'Reilly - Only 19 so probably give him another year out on loan. Loan out again.


That leaves us with a squad of 15, excluding the players i'd like to loan again.

Goalkeepers - Rudd
Defenders - Bauer, Huntington, Storey, Hughes
Midfielders - Whiteman, Ledson, Bayliss
Attacking Mid - Browne, Johnson, Potts, Sinclair, Maguire
Strikers - Evans, Riis
 

That Fat Centre Half

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What happened with Bayliss? Remember he was very highly rated coming out of Coventry and you spent a couple million on him if I recall? Not huge in the grand scheme but you don’t exactly spend those amounts that often. Seems to hardly play.
 

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What happened with Bayliss? Remember he was very highly rated coming out of Coventry and you spent a couple million on him if I recall? Not huge in the grand scheme but you don’t exactly spend those amounts that often. Seems to hardly play.
We paid £1.2m up front, rest are all bollocks add-ons. If you can't do the off the ball work well then you don't play under Alex Neil, simple as that.
 

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If Luton don't keep him on, I wouldn't mind signing Osho permanently. Works hard, never gives up and a pretty useful player on the ball. I suspect someone a bit higher up the food chain (Peterborough, perhaps) would move in for him though.

I'd have Joe Raff back as well...
 

That Fat Centre Half

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If Luton don't keep him on, I wouldn't mind signing Osho permanently. Works hard, never gives up and a pretty useful player on the ball. I suspect someone a bit higher up the food chain (Peterborough, perhaps) would move in for him though.

I'd have Joe Raff back as well...

Has he been ok then? Seems whenever i happen to check a Rochdale result you’ve conceded at least 3 so assumed he wasn’t doing too well!

I think we will keep him for what it’s worth.
 

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Not arsed whether we keep any of them or not
 

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Interesting analysis of Peter Kioso on HattersNews today. No idea who the guy is that did it, but sounds like he knows his stuff and he convinced me :). We are desperate for two fullbacks next season. Perhaps we already have one of them.
 

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Maybe we got both with Clark doing so well on the left?
 

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My Bolton supporting mate thought he was quality, all be it in League Two.
 

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Interesting analysis of Peter Kioso on HattersNews today. No idea who the guy is that did it, but sounds like he knows his stuff and he convinced me :). We are desperate for two fullbacks next season. Perhaps we already have one of them.

There are some quite good analysis pieces out there on Twitter etc if you have the patience to filter out the reactionary crap. I think we are ok with right backs with him and Bree, left back is the position that needs some thought for me.

Clark has done ok there but always preferable to have an actual left footer for balance (unless it’s a top quality player like JJ which while I like Clark he isn’t that). Naismith I’m not entirely convinced by as a left back, done well in other positions and Potts is one I think we’ve needed to improve on for a few years now.
 

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Be interesting how the defense rejigs for next season. Weve been quite versatile and operated several systems. Wonder if we will settle for one or keep flipping. Maybe its because he hasnt got what he wants personel wise or he just sees it as tactics to match opostion team by team. Maybe he will continue that or perhaps if he can get what he wants settle for one style.

Naismith has proven he is a quality CH on the left of a two or three and clearly his most effective position. With Lockyer and Bradley and at a pinch Rea although hes been awful there this season and Pearson. Obv one or two of these could go namely Pearson and Bradley. The fact Jones often prefers Pearson at rb tells me Bree wont be here. Def a progressive left back needed as a priority and a solution to rb which may be Kioso. Preferably all our own players. Use the loan for the KDH type role
 

Kenneth E End

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I'm moving Pearson now to the get rid category. Bree is still in the unsure category, but I don't really think Jones trusts him enough.
 

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Id lose Bree before Pearson.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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I see Hylton has had a recurrence of his knee issue and missed the last 5 games. Can genuinely say I hadn’t realised he wasn’t available such has he fallen out of the picture of things.

That 2 year deal looks very strange, he’s not really looked 100% since the injury the got in the league 2 promotion season where we rushed him back and he pulled up in the following game.

Jones made some really strong comments after the game Monday and again today about it being a big and exciting summer - fair amount of his trusted core group who propelled us up the leagues need to be replaced really.
 

Kenneth E End

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I see Hylton has had a recurrence of his knee issue and missed the last 5 games. Can genuinely say I hadn’t realised he wasn’t available such has he fallen out of the picture of things.

That 2 year deal looks very strange, he’s not really looked 100% since the injury the got in the league 2 promotion season where we rushed him back and he pulled up in the following game.

Jones made some really strong comments after the game Monday and again today about it being a big and exciting summer - fair amount of his trusted core group who propelled us up the leagues need to be replaced really.
I wouldn’t totally disagree, but this team has got us to mid table in the Championship playing probably at their absolute limit. They probably need to replace and refresh to get to that next level, but is that going to be affordable? Are we going to get anything better?
 

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Agree will be a big challenge for sure but that’s why we’ve had the restructure of the recruitment team. Whether it actually pays off will be interesting, but signings like Clark, Adebayo at reasonable costs from leagues 1 and 2 show we can identify some decent players in our price range.
 

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Ince out for the rest of the season. One of the more strange loan signings we’ve made although NJ was speaking glowingly of him today despite having not really played him. Doubt he will be back
 

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