Danny Hylton
Luton striker Danny Hylton is not Championship caliber. It’s time Nathan Jones realized this too. Photo: Liam Smith

Let me preface this by saying I’m a Danny Hylton fan. I’ve loved his shithousery and antics for the going on five years he’s been at Kenilworth Road. But with all that said it’s time he was no longer a Luton Town player anymore. Thank you Danny but it’s time to go.

I don’t take any pride or pleasure in saying that as we have been through a lot together. Several promotions and even a few heartbreaks. Unfortunately, the truth is staring us in the face and becoming increasingly difficult to ignore as weeks pass. Danny Hylton is not a Championship caliber striker.

As I began to watch the game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday I would have happily taken a point. After watching the first 60 minutes I was on the edge of my seat believing we could win this. While the final bit of class was still missing in the final third we were causing Blackburn all sorts of problems. Then in the 64th minute, Nathan Jones killed all that positivity by replacing James Collins with Hylton.

Now it’s not like Collins has been prolific this season either. He has six goals in 23 League games with three of those coming against Preston, but his movement off the ball and link-up play with Dewsbury-Hall, Ruddock-Mpanzu, and Cornick was causing problems. That disappeared once Hylton came on.

Thanks to the genius of technology I was able to watch the game with my Dad thousands of miles away. While not his first team (he’s been supporting Manchester United since the 1950s) he has grown to have more than a soft spot for Luton. So much so I bought him a shirt and cap for Christmas, upon his request. 

It might have been only his second or third time watching Luton this season but he instantly said the substitution was a mistake. I had to agree as I lost my goddamn mind and proclaimed we would get nothing from this game. I may have been overreacting but I also wasn’t wrong.

Now Hylton was not to blame for Blackburn’s goal. We just shut off defensively for the first time in the game and unlike us, they have a striker who can punish. He also wasn’t able to push the ball over the line from less than a yard out even if it would have been ruled out for offside.

The consensus on social media is we need a striker and it’s not wrong. Collins’ three goals in 22 games if you exclude the Preston hattrick is not good enough while Harry Cornick’s last league goal came seven months ago in a 1-1 draw with Leeds. So as you can see Hylton isn’t the only thing wrong here.

However, handing him a new contract during the short offseason was beyond baffling. I understand the current climate for football clubs but considering his performances and injury troubles you cannot tell me there was not a cheaper option available. Our youth team scored six on Saturday at this point I would rather one of those kids on the bench.

Once again, this isn’t a personal attack on Danny Hylton. I love his character and attitude. He just isn’t a Championship caliber striker and it’s beginning to hurt us. Especially with others underperforming too.