Luton Town 2023/24 Premier League Season Preview | The Hard Tackle

With the 2023/24 Premier League season about to kick off this weekend, The Hard Tackle assesses the prospects of Luton Town.

Just days remain for the 2023/24 Premier League season to kick off. As ever, fans and pundits alike are finalising their pre-season predictions as we approach Gameweek 1. And Luton Town will likely be the odds-on favourite to drop down to the EFL Championship come May.

The Hatters do not have an illustrious history, winning only one major trophy in their existence. That said, they have lifted league titles in every lower division until the fifth tier of English football. And unlike many unheralded clubs that have secured promotion to the Premier League in recent years, they have extensively participated in the top flight previously.

Luton Town even came agonisingly close to becoming one of the founding members of the Premier League, dropping down to the second tier in the 1991/92 season after suffering relegation. Things gradually went from bad to worse for the Bedfordshire-based club as they became a non-league side.

But after many years of mediocrity, Luton Town will finally play in the Premier League in the upcoming season. However, Rob Edwards’s men cannot afford to bask in the glory for too long as they will be under the cosh from the get-go. But before we look forward to the upcoming season, let us look back at Luton Town’s 2022/23 campaign.


Luton Town enjoyed a phenomenal pre-season campaign ahead of the 2022/23 season, winning every friendly. Granted, each one of their opponents was more unheralded than them. But the Hatters showed promising signs heading into 2022/23.

But the season could not have begun on a worse note, as they failed to win their first four games. As a result, they fell into the relegation zone in the early days of the campaign. But August was the last time Luton Town came any close to the relegation zone, with 18th being the lowest position they fell to, that too in mid-September.

Remarkably, the Hatters were in the top half of the table since late December. And they did not bow out of the Championship playoffs positions after late January. And a 14-game unbeaten run meant Luton Town comfortably finished third on the table, well clear of the other Championship playoffs qualifiers.

But the Championship playoffs began on the worst possible note for Rob Edwards’s men, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland in the first leg of the semi-finals. But a clinical performance in the second leg meant they beat the Black Cats 2-0 to book their place in the Wembley finale.

The Hatters met another team with a Cinderella Story, Coventry City, in the final, which ended 1-1 at the end of regulation time. So a dramatic ending beckoned the two teams, with the game going into penalties. Fortunately for Edwards, his players held their nerve to do the unthinkable and book their place in the Premier League for the 2023/24 season.

Squad Update

Rob Edwards and Luton Town have been busy in the transfer market thus far. They have allowed a couple of players to leave as free agents while loaning out a few out-of-favour figures. And Carlos Mendez has been the most high-profile departure from Kenilworth Road.

Meanwhile, the Hatters have signed more than half a dozen players. But unlike a few promoted clubs in the last few years, they have not spent over the top and have instead looked for clever deals in the market. These include loan transfers and cut-price transfers.

Issa Kabore is an eye-catching addition to the first-team squad, with the 18-year-old prospect arriving on loan from Manchester City. And if things go to plan, Kabore will be the first-choice right-back for Luton Town in the upcoming season.

The Hatters have also signed Marvelous Nakamba on a permanent deal after his successful loan stint last season. Meanwhile, Tahith Chong is a familiar name who will turn out for Luton Town, with Manchester United fans likely awaiting a reunion in the upcoming season.

Thomas Kaminski will be the much-needed goalkeeping reinforcement, with a move for Tom Heaton, who has also captured the attention of Everton, failing. Finally, Ryan Giles, Mads Andersen, and Chiedozie Ogbene are the other additions to the first-team squad. And it will be interesting to see if the Hatters make more additions to the group in the coming weeks.

Key Fixtures

A club of Luton Town’s stature will likely have no easy fixtures in the Premier League, particularly when it is the team’s first-ever top-flight campaign of the Premier League era. So the Hatters need to take each game as it comes while looking to capitalise on any momentum they build.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has already postponed one of their early fixtures, as Kenilworth Road is not ready for the competition. So the Hatters will not play a home game before September, with West Ham United being their first opponents at Kenilworth Road.

The fixtures immediately after the first international break of the season will offer Rob Edwards & co. their first opportunity to bag a haul of points, as they will face Fulham, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Everton. But October and November might be tough for them, with Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Manchester United, and Liverpool facing them in a five-game stretch.

December will not get any easier either, with more ‘Big Six’ clubs waiting for them. But games against Bournemouth and Sheffield United will offer Luton Town the opportunity to get something out of a busy month. And it will not be until late April that they will face a promising run of fixtures.

So unless the Hatters are in the mix to avoid relegation by then, they might fail to retain their Premier League status. And it goes without saying that Rob Edwards’s men must play out of their skins to stand any chance of remaining in the top flight.

Key Players

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

The 2010s produced some inspiring stories in the Premier League, with a few players rising from non-league football to the top flight. None got any bigger than Jamie Vardy, who has scripted a lasting legacy as one of the best-ever strikers in Premier League history. And Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu might be the next stirring tale for PL aficionados.

The 29-year-old has been with Luton Town for a decade and has become the first player to rise from non-league to the Premier League with the same team. But his story does not end with his uplifting tale. Mpanzu is every bit a pivotal figure for his team. And his performances in the middle of the park will be crucial for the Hatters to produce stubborn, defensive-minded displays.

Carlton Morris

Issa Kabore is a player to watch at Luton Town in the upcoming season. Marvelous Nakamba will also have a point to prove after failing to establish a foothold at Aston Villa. But the second pick on our list is a striker whose goals will go a long way in helping the Hatters remain afloat in the Premier League. We are, of course, talking about Carlton Morris.

The 27-year-old has been a journeyman in his professional career at the club level. But Morris has found his calling since joining Luton Town last summer. And 20 goals in the Championship set his team up to reach the top flight. He will now look to follow Callum Wilson and Ivan Toney’s lead by becoming a prolific performer in the Premier League. And Luton might enjoy a memorable season if Morris rises to the occasion.

Season Expectations

Anything other than relegation will classify 2023/24 as a resounding success for Luton Town. That is not to say they cannot aspire to retain their top-flight status beyond the upcoming campaign. But considering how active other clubs have been in the market, it is hardly surprising that the odds are stacked against Rob Edwards & Co.

But teams like Sheffield United and Bournemouth have previously shown the template to succeed in the Premier League despite having an unheralded bunch of players. And if Edwards can get his men to play as more than the sum of their parts, there is no reason for them not to spring a surprise or two.

Ryan Giles and Carlton Morris can help Luton Town rise to the occasion in the final third. And a productive campaign for the duo will be crucial for the newly-promoted club to make a mark in the Premier League.

But even though they might not have bright prospects for the upcoming season, Rob Edwards & Co. showed last season that opponents should take them lightly at their own peril. And spirited displays week after week will be the key to a successful campaign. But realistically speaking, relegation seems to be on the cards for Luton Town.

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