Luton ready to mingle with the Premier League greats

There seems to be no limit to Luton’s progress.

Town clinched promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history in spectacular fashion on Saturday, beating Coventry on penalties after an entertaining 1-1 draw.

It marks the latest step in a remarkable spell for the club, which was promoted from the National League just nine years ago and was in League Two in 2018.

Now the Hatters will mix it up with the greats, but history suggests they won’t be intimidated by the prospect.

meteoric rise

Nathan Jones is synonymous with Luton’s rise from non-league to Premier League in 10 seasons, but the Welshman was only in position for one of his four promotions at the time.

The fact that two of their successes, from League One to the Championship in 2019 and from the Championship to the Premier League this term, came after the Welshman left them mid-season shows that this story is much bigger than any individual.

Their remarkable decade is a victory for structure, planning and culture, buzzwords that epitomize all the most successful clubs in the country.

The city may have to put up with the jokes about Kenilworth Road, particularly the crowded driveway to the other end, but they are having the last laugh.

Kenilworth Road will need renovation to comply with Premier League rules for next season
Kenilworth Road will need renovation to comply with Premier League rules for next season

playing style

Luton will have a hard time beating the best teams in the country off the pitch, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be outplayed every week.

The Hatters ranked second in passing wins in the Championship this season and are the only team outside of the bottom eight to rank in the bottom five in short pass completions.

However, Rob Edwards’ team doesn’t play ugly football.

Their mammoth forward two of Elijah Adebayo (6-foot-3) and Carlton Morris (6-foot-1) thrive on quality serve and have received the third-most crosses leading to a scoring opportunity in the division.

For the best example of what Luton could do for Premier League teams, check out their play-off semi-final second leg victory over Sunderland.

They pummeled a team full of diminutive attackers with their physique, energy and quality deliveries.

no ego

Carlton Morris has been Luton's main man this season
Carlton Morris has been Luton’s main man this season

Morris will be the main man for Luton, whose recruiting team must be patting themselves on the back after signing him for just £2m from Barnsley 12 months ago.

The 27-year-old scored 20 goals in Town’s promotion campaign and also provided seven assists.

But while Edwards will be eager to add more quality to his star striker, he’ll also want to avoid upsetting his team’s spirit.

The key to Luton’s success has been the absence of egos and star players, so don’t be surprised if most of their squad look unknown in August.

Edwards effect

Luton are happy to have Edwards in charge, especially as he started the season in charge of fierce rivals Watford.

The former Wales international has bought into the spirit of the Hatters and some, not only continuing Jones’ good work on the pitch, but also inspiring them off it.

With the 40-year-old in charge, the Bedfordshire club will give the Premier League a decent fist.

But history has taught us that even if they lose it, they will still punch above their weight.