Edwards will have funds to strengthen Luton squad during January transfer window

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Hatter chief expects to have the board’s backing this month

Hatters boss Rob Edwards insists he has the funds at his disposal to improve Town’s squad for the second half of the Premier League season if the right player becomes available during the January transfer window.

Luton reached the halfway point of the campaign at the weekend when beaten 3-2 at home by Chelsea, as they sit third from bottom in the top flight, but with a number of clubs still within reach, including Everton, Brentford and Nottingham Forest to name just three. With the playing future of defender Tom Lockyer still uncertain as he continues to recover from a cardiac arrest suffered at AFC Bournemouth, and midfielder Marvelous Nakamba out for a ‘significant’ period of time with a knee injury, it saw Edwards admit he could act this month to bolster his squad.

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Asked if would be able to spend any money in which to do so, the Town chief said: “Yes, I think we will, we’ll have the backing. If it’s something that works for us and we feel they can help us, if we feel they’re the right type of player and person, and at the right price, then yes, I think we’ve got the scope to do it. We’re not going to do that with many players but I think if it’s the right one, then I think there’ll be a little bit to spend there.

Luton chief Rob Edwards - pic: Liam SmithLuton chief Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith
Luton chief Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith

"Certainly we won’t be splashing it out on two, three or four, we don’t need that anyway and I don’t want to make too many big adjustments to the group. The spirit here is really, really good and I don’t want to upset the dynamics of that, but if there’s someone we think can help us on the pitch and will fit into the group, then we can have a go on that.”

With Nakamba out for a sustained period of time, it leaves Luton with precious players in the same mould as the Zimbabwean international, although Arsenal loanee Albert Sambi Lokonga has excelled since coming back into the team, particularly against Newcastle and Sheffield United. On whether central midfield has now become an area he is looking to strengthen, Edwards continued: “We’ve got good options still there, Ross (Barkley) and Sambi have been playing well now for the last few games, we’ve still got Jordan Clark, Pelly (Mpanzu), Luke Berry as well, really good options who can come in and provide good competition.

"We do miss Marv, he does give us something really different and something that’s unique in that position. I’ll say it again, we have the scope to improve the group and we’ll get that if we think there’s someone who can really help us and make us better. If that isn’t achievable for us then I love what we’ve got here in the building right now, I’m more than happy to go with that we have.”

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Luton’s board have already shown their willingness to backed Edwards, as they did so substantially during the summer window, Town shelling out just shy of £20m to bring in Mads Andersen, Tahith Chong, Ryan Giles, Thomas Kaminski, Jacob Brown and Teden Mengi, as they broke their record transfer fee on a number of occasions. The Hatters were was also able to snap up Ross Barkley, Chiedozie Ogbene and Tim Krul on free transfers, Andros Townsend joining recently as well, while the loan arrivals of Issa Kabore and Lokonga were also sanctioned.

Last season, Town brought in Nakamba and Cody Drameh on loan at the same stage of the campaign, also adding Jack Walton and Joe Taylor on permanent deals from Barnsley and Peterborough too, as on whether Luton can now look at a different level of player due to being in the top flight this time around, Edwards stated: “We spent more than we’ve ever spent, and I know by Premier League standards that wasn’t loads in the summer, so by our standards and what we’ve done historically, we probably are.

"But again, by Premier League standards, we’re not in the same market as other teams at the moment. That’s completely fine and I’m good with that as that’s how we do things, I like how we do things. So it’s still the same kind of message of how we were in the summer, but if you think back to last January, we’re probably in a bit of a different situation as the club’s in a different league. But still sensible, still sensible is the key message.”