Luton chief impressed with Hammers' recruitment after selling Declan Rice to Arsenal for £100m

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Southampton midfielder Ward-Prowse one of the main signings for David Moyes

Luton boss Rob Edwards has been impressed with the way in which tonight’s opponents West Ham United have used the money gained from selling Declan Rice to Arsenal to boost their squad for the Premier League season.

The England international joined the Gunners for around £105m in July, a record fee between two British clubs, although that was quickly usurped by Chelsea signing Brighton’s Moises Caicedo for £115m.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With funds to strengthen, Irons boss David Moyes has done just that by bringing in Konstantinos Mavropanos from Stuttgart for £18m plus Ajax duo Edson Alvarez (£35m) and Mohammed Kudus (£38m).

James Ward-Prowse scores his first goal for West Ham during their 3-1 win at Brighton - pic: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty ImagesJames Ward-Prowse scores his first goal for West Ham during their 3-1 win at Brighton - pic: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
James Ward-Prowse scores his first goal for West Ham during their 3-1 win at Brighton - pic: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

One of the key additions has been James Ward-Prowse though, the Southampton midfielder costing £30m, but he has already settled well at his new club, with a goal and two assists from his first two outings.

It led Edwards to say: “They’re a big, big football club and when they can sell someone for that much money, you can invest some as well.

"You’d expect them to want to invest and improve and build on the great work that David Moyes has done over the years anyway.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"They’ve done some very good business, James Ward-Prowse is a tremendous player, never mind a couple of the others they’ve been bringing in.”

Following a season in which the Hammers struggled in the Premier League for large periods, looking like they could actually be relegated, it was their European form that ultimately turned it into a memorable campaign, the Irons winning a trophy for the first time in over 40 years when defeating Fiorentina 2-1 in the Europa Conference League final.

It no doubt kept Moyes in a job, and he has repaid that faith with two wins and a draw from the first three matches this term, as United were at the top of the tree for a stint over the weekend after winning 3-1 at Brighton.

They have also seen off Chelsea 3-1, beating both teams who have defeated Luton, as Edwards knows they will be absolutely no pushovers, even when coming to a frenzied Kenilworth Road this evening.

He continued: “It’s no easier just because we’re at home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“West Ham have beaten the two teams that we’ve lost against.

"They’ve shown their quality, they’ve just won a European trophy so it’s going to be a really, really difficult test, as every one of the 38 games will be.

“They’ve got very good players, individually but, collectively, as an organised unit, they’ve got a real clear way of playing and a way that suits them.

“All the players are onboard with it and everyone knows their roles and responsibilities with and without the ball.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“They’ve got huge threats on the counter attack, good from set-pieces, they can take the ball if they want, but they’re very comfortable without it.

“So, genuinely, it’s as difficult a test as you’ll get.

"Coming to Kenilworth Road, some people might not like it, or might think it’s tight and they want to play a bit more, but West Ham are happy to play anyway and they can find a way to win.

“They’re a very strong team, powerful, quick, technically good, they’ve got a lot of good attributes to play any kind of football match they want.

“They can defend well, take the ball, defend and attack set-pieces and if they need to have a fight, they can have a fight.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“They’ve got everything in their armoury to compete with any team, so it’s a really, really difficult challenge for us, but I think it's a really exciting game as well.

“They’re comfortable without the ball, but a lot of it was against Brighton and Chelsea, teams who are probably going to dominate the ball against pretty much everyone, so we’ll see.

"We’ve hopefully prepared for every eventuality and see what the game throws at us, but we’ve got to try and impact our game on them, which we always try and do.

"They’re a team who have just won a European competition, they’re at the top end of the table, have had a great start, so it will be a really good marker to see where we are at home against a very, very good team.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With Luton the newbies to the top flight this term, there was always going to be a period of adjustment for the players when getting used to such a massive jump in quality between the Championship and the Premier League.

Edwards always knew it might take his side a while to get up to speed in their new surroundings, even if he hoped that wouldn’t be the case, adding: “I don’t want it to take time, but I think it’s understandable.

"I keep using the word progression and improvement, we’re learning and we’re all doing that.

"We’ve got to do it quickly, but I think our fans get it, they know the challenge we’ve got ahead of us, so everyone’s on board with it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We all want the improvement, the learning and the progression to turn into points as well, I get it.

"I’d love it to be Friday night, if it’s not, it’s not the end of the world.

"We go again, improve and we have a break to get some good quality work in then as well.

“At the moment, I’m very calm and happy with what I’m seeing and where I’m at.

"The lads are completely on board with everything, working extremely hard.

"I’m seeing improvement on a daily basis, so that’s good for us.”