As the domestic transfer window edges closer to closing Luton Town signed Joe Morrell from Bristol City for an undisclosed fee on Thursday, further bolstering their midfield. The Wales international midfielder had fallen down the pecking order at Bristol City and deemed surplus to requirements. At 23-years-old is the perfect type of player for the Hatters to buy. Old enough to make an impact straight away, yet young enough to get a sizable sell on should he develop the way Nathan Jones hopes.
Morrel also gives much-needed coverage for Glen Rea in the defensive midfielder role. Rea missed a huge chunk of last season with a damaged cruciate ligament and has already missed time this season due to minor injuries. Morrell, who has played the majority of his games in that position, will provide much-needed cover and competition for places. He can play as a traditional midfielder also.
This frees up Martin Cranie, who had deputized several times in the defensive midfielder role, to move back to his favored right-back role. In return, this has allowed young right-back Peter Kioso to move on loan. The youngster has joined Bolton Wanderers to gain much-needed experience. Kioso impressed in Luton’s 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat by Manchester United and is very much a part of the future; it would seem.
Morrell finished last season on loan with Lincoln City in League One of the English pyramid. Despite the team struggling and ending in the bottom half, Morrell’s 56 interceptions were enough to put him in the league’s top ten players. Morrell Idolizes Marco Verratti, calling him “one of the best three midfielders in the world.” This could sum up Morrell’s play style as a deep-lying playmaker or, as the Italians call it, regista.
That’s what Luton and Nathan Jones will be looking for from the midfielder in the immediate future. Breaking up play and then setting up the likes of Harry Cornick, Luke Berry, and Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu to run at opposition defenses. They, in turn, will be expected to aide and abet James Collins in scoring much-needed goals. While he won’t necessarily be asked to score, his no-nonsense breaking up of play will be how he helps Luton continue their fantastic start to the season.
Morrell has also been capped nine times for Wales, including a really good performance in their recent 1-0 win over Bulgaria. He will also have some familiar faces when he arrives at Kenilworth Road. International teammate Tom Lockyer joined in the offseason from Charlton, while full-back Rhys Norrington-Davies is on loan at Kenilworth Road from Sheffield United. Norrington-Davies made his debut for Wales against Bulgaria and was hailed as ‘Outstanding’ by manager Ryan Giggs.
With many midfield options, Luton allowed Andrew Shinnie to join League One side Charlton Athletic on loan. They are also set to sign forward Sam Nombe on loan from MK Dons. The forward is undergoing a medical, and it should be confirmed by the time the transfer window closes Friday night. The 21-year-old will add coverage for James Collins and Danny Hylton.
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