Luton's change of shape came at just the right time for ex-Spurs, Crystal Palace and Newcastle winger Townsend

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Town’s formation switch meant experienced wideman has a role to play

New Town addition Andros Townsend is thankful that the Hatters’ change of shape happened at just the right time for him to end what was looking like a fruitless bid to continue his playing career.

The 32-year-old had been left out in the cold after leaving Everton in the summer, turning out for Burnley during pre-season, but then finding a deal at Turf Moor was off the table at the final minute.

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With Townsend’s agent doing his utmost to secure his player a future somewhere, a switch in formation from Hatters boss Rob Edwards, opting to play with just one main striker in Carlton Morris and two supporting wideman, usually Chiedoze Ogbene and Jacob Brown, meant the ex-England international was back in business again.

Following a weeks training at Kenilworth Road, he then turned out for the U21s in a Premier League Cup clash against Leeds United in York, before putting pen to paper on a short term deal until January.

Speaking to talkSPORT about the move to Town, Townsend said: “It's no secret it's been a tough summer.

“I did six weeks at Burnley and at the last moment they decided it wasn't for them, then I was stuck.

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"All the Premier League clubs were happy with their squads at the beginning of August, so then I was literally offering myself out to any team possible in Europe and overseas, in the middle east.

New Luton signing Andros Townsend - pic: Andy Rowland.New Luton signing Andros Townsend - pic: Andy Rowland.
New Luton signing Andros Townsend - pic: Andy Rowland.

"I've not played competitively in 18 months, so nobody wanted to know, nobody wanted to even give me a trial.

"I've come back to the UK, London, and fortunately Luton changed shape.

"A few weeks ago they weren’t using wingers, suddenly they're using wingers and my agent was brilliant.

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"He's been battering managers, battering chief execs to try and get me a trial.

"Thankfully Luton decided to take the chance and the rest is history.”

Although he was without a permanent club after seeing the Clarets withdraw their offer to him, Townsend, who last played a first team clash in March 2022, when he suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury while playing for Everton, still managed to maintain a level of fitness in the meantime.

A lot of that was thanks to the club where it all started for him, Tottenham Hotspur, the winger making 93 appearances for Spurs between 2009-16 after coming through the ranks at White Hart Lane.

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He continued: “I went back to Spurs, they were brilliant, they let me use the facilities, let me train with the U21s, the U18s, so a huge thankyou to Spurs.

"I missed the whole of last season through injury, so that was tough mentally, but in a way I was just happy I was fit.

"Whether I was playing for Burnley, at Spurs, on my own, with Luton, I was on the grass, I was fit, I was feeling good.

“It (the injury) was completely fine and I had no worries, so yes it’s been stressful but I’m just happy to be fit, that’s the main thing.”

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With Townsend having 264 top flight games under his belt, scoring 25 goals and adding 28 assists, then bringing that to a Luton side who have struggled to find the net at the highest level of English football so far, notching just six in eight matches, is what he hopes to do.

The winger, who also has 13 caps for his country under his belt, netting three times too, added: “I think that's first and foremost why they wanted to take a look at me.

"The games I've watched they've done so well, created so many chances, it’s just that last step.

"You need one or two to go in the back of the net to give you that confidence and hopefully I can help with my quality, by coming on for the last 15, 20 minutes and whipping balls into the box.

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"We’ve got two great strikers, two big boys, Carlton Morris and (Elijah) Adebayo.

"If I can help from the start, for the last 15 minutes where it's the last throw of the dice, if I help in the dressing room, if I help on the training ground Monday to Friday, then that's me doing my job.”