Luton chief impressed by Osho's transformation into the holding role

Former Royals defender is now making a name for himself as a defensive midfielder

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 6th November 2021, 10:34 am
Gabe Osho goes up for a header on Tuesday night
Gabe Osho goes up for a header on Tuesday night

Town midfielder Gabe Osho's transformation from centre half to a holding midfield role this season has impressed Luton boss Nathan Jones.

The 23-year-old joined the Hatters from Reading in November 2020 after his formative years at the Madejski Stadium were spent mainly as a defender.

Osho had loan spells at Yeovil and Rochdale last term where he played in the back-line once more, before a brief outing in a defensive midfield berth against Brighton during pre-season, although even that was cut short as the Seagulls took an early lead.

However, he started the opening game of the Championship campaign in the new position, Town hammering Peterborough United 3-0, keeping his place for six of Luton's first nine fixtures.

Following a half-time substitution in the 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth, Osho had a spell out of the side, but he was back from the start on Tuesday night, playing 90 minutes as the Hatters defeated Middlesbrough 3-1 at Kenilworth Road.

Once more he was situated in midfield, as Jones said of his versatility: "It is a key position, it is a difficult position.

"No-one has played him there before, he has always been a central defender, it is just we see something in him that can do that.

"Let's not forget, he has started seven Championship games and we’ve only lost two (West Brom and Bournemouth).

"He started against Sheffield United and did well, Swansea he did well and then the other day as well, so it shows he can contribute to good performances and wins.

"He is a really important member of the squad too, he is so athletic and defensively he is excellent.

"He can play as a right-back, right-sided centre-half or in defensive midfield.

"He hasn’t had much game time lately, then you put him straight in, for 45 minutes he was probably finding his feet and then second half he was far more involved.

"Even though we want to freshen things up, we also have to play people in rhythm and it is difficult to have freshness and rhythm all the time.

"We left Jordan Clark and Tom Lockyer out the other day to freshen them up because we felt they were really at their maximum in recent games.

"They put in big shifts, had been at their maximum and we felt a rest would do them good.

"They come back into contention now, they have lost no rhythm but they are fresh. Others like Osho and maybe Carlos Mendes Gomes, need more rhythm.”