‘medical in few hours: Luton new signing on his way to airport for his medical

Luton have repeatedly defied gravity during their decade-long odyssey back to the top of English football – but how are they doing it again?

A club who have spent about £30m over the last 30 years are a point behind Nottingham Forest, who spent £30m on Ibrahim Sangare alone earlier this season.Luton Town: The fall and rise of a football club eventually saved by love

The form table also suggests Luton are getting better. Since the pre-Christmas weekend of December 22-24, they have taken more points than Arsenal.

Rob Edwards and his team still have a lot of work to do if they are to stay in the Premier League, but their fate is in their own hands and they have adapted better than their fellow promoted teams: Luton have 20 points, almost as many as Burnley (13) and Sheffield United (10) combined.

Luton know what they are good at – they are direct. That always seems like a loaded term in English football, conjuring up images of route-one mudbaths from decades long past, but, when it works, it is as valid and effective as any other type of football. Luton make it work.

In total, around eight per cent of Luton’s passes this season have been sent into the opponent’s box – the only team with a higher proportion are Everton, managed by Sean Dyche, the Premier League’s biggest proponent of direct football over recent years.

This sounds like it is veering into 1980s percentage football, get-it-into-the-mixer cliche, but Luton do it because that is where they are a threat: this season they have scored a goal for every 15.8 touches they have in the opponent’s box. Only Newcastle and Wolves are more efficient.

Tellingly, Burnley and Sheffield United are the teams who require the most touches in the box to score.

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