Former Spurs youngster Thorpe could fill Luton’s midfield void ahead of January transfer window

Wales U21 international a 'good coup' for the Hatters

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 6:30 am
New Luton signing Elliot Thorpe
New Luton signing Elliot Thorpe

New Town signing Elliot Thorpe could potentially fill the midfield void that Hatters boss Nathan Jones had been looking to bolster in the recent transfer window.

The Luton chief tried and failed to get the signing he wanted in the middle of the park ahead of the deadline passing at the start of this month, although did still make eight new additions over the summer.

However, with clubs allowed to bring in free agents outside of the window, Jones swooped last Friday to snap up the former Tottenham Hotspur youngster after he turned down a new contract to stay with the Spurs.

Asked if Thorpe could be the answer for Jones’ midfield wishes, the manager said: “We don’t bring in anyone gratuitously, for numbers.

“We wanted to bring in something that was marquee. We’d have loved to have brought back Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall or something like that.

“We were in talks for a few but nothing materialised so we didn’t want to just bring in a body, because we’ve got good midfielders that we can rely on.

“The next thing is, can we develop someone over time?

“The window’s not open for another four months, so in four months Elliot Thorpe will be in a totally different position to what he’s in now.

“In January, we might still be looking for that midfielder, or Elliot Thorpe may be the one that fills the void.

“That’s what we do. We either bring in better, or different, Elliot Thorpe is different to what we’ve got because he’s 20, technically very good.

“Physically, he needs more to get him up to speed with us and once he does that, we’ll have a more rounded midfielder.”

When news broke that Thorpe was going to leave north London and a club he had been with since 2013, there was a whole host of interest in him.

Fellow Premier League side Burnley were said to be sniffing around the youngster, along with Championship teams Stoke and Cardiff, plus even German outfit Hoffenheim.

However, the Wales U21 international opted to head to Kenilworth Road, as Jones continued: “It’s a good coup because I know he had other opportunities but there’s pathway here for young players.

“I know fans are saying that they want young players in the side, but we’ve reduced the average age of our squad to 23, so unless we want to play an under-23 side, it’s in a real good place.

“What we want to do is get young, hungry, talented players in and develop them so that they do play in our first team.

“Sometimes that takes a little bit of time, but we’re delighted to have signed Elliot.

“We had him in at the end of last season, but we had to wait and see his situation with Spurs.

"Once that was clarified, then we moved.”

Although Thorpe has been brought into challenge for a first team spot with the Hatters, it might take a bit of time for that to be the case, as Jones added: “At the minute he is a bit de-conditioned because he hasn’t played.

“He’s not had a pre-season, not been with Tottenham, he was away with Wales U21s where he plays sporadically so it will take some building and once he does that, we see him as a young, exciting midfield player.

“There is always a process to how we recruit and we have a good group of experienced pros from 29 to 31/32, then the main bulk are those in their prime.

“Then we have some younger ones coming through either 22 or 23 and then we needed to add to that group and slightly under – 19/20/21-year-olds coming through so there is pure longevity in our squad and we see him as that.

“We have bolstered that group so we don’t have to name him in the 25.

"He has been added to our first team squad as an up and coming player and we want him to compete.”