Luton Town is a club which has produced some real talent in the last 20 years, players such as Emmerson Boyce, Curtis Davies, and Kelvin Davis have gone on to play in the Premier League. In recent years, there haven’t been many youth players breaking into the first team, but all of that has now changed since Nathan Jones took over. The young Welsh Manager has given a lot of young players their debuts in the Checkatrade Trophy and in league games. In fact, Luton have been fined and rewarded for promoting their youth during the 2016/2017 season campaign.
With all these young players making their debuts in a Luton Shirt, there have been some players which are standing out from the rest. These players are Frankie Musonda, Akin Famewo and James Justin. When you look at Luton’s Squad their defence is clearly the strongest and the most experience. So, the likes of Musonda and Famewo will find it hard to challenge for a first-team spot, but when given the call the pair will step up when needed. Throughout the 16/17 Season, Luton have had problems with their fullbacks. On the left-hand side, you got Dan Potts, Jack Senior and Alan Sheehan who have had problems with injuries or been suspended at some point during the season. On the right-hand side, you only got Stephan O’Donnell who consistently performed at a poor level.
James Justin is a Right Back, so this was his perfect chance for him to break into the first team, which he ended up doing. James played over 30 games for the Hatters, scoring one goal during the process. Justin made his debut coming on as a sub in the 15/16 season on the final game against Exeter but didn’t make his full debut until the 16/17 season against Aston Villa when the Hatters won 3-1 in the Capital One Cup Round 1. In fact, the game against the Villa, James played at left back which isn’t his natural position. During the season James played Left Back, Wing Back and Right Back under Nathan Jones, while playing in these positions he later became a fan favourite.
So, what attributes do you need to become a Full Back?
Marking – I don’t feel Marking is a concerned for Justin. If he does lose his man, he has the pace and energy to put himself back into the right position.
Tackling – Yet again this isn’t concern for James. When watching James play, his tackling is normally on point. Yes, he may make a foul and mistime a tackle but who doesn’t? Throughout this season, James has kept key players quiet from other teams, making sure that they don’t make any impact during the game.
Anticipation – Out of all the attributes which you need for a fullback, I would say this specific one needs to be worked on. There have been times during the season where goals have come from
James Justin’s side where he should have anticipated the movement from the other team. The only way his going to get better at this is by playing and support from experienced players.
Composure – This may need to be worked on, but not a serious issue. Like I said his pace and energy gets him out of trouble when needed.
Concentration – With him being young and inexperienced concentration can be a problem. However, with the right players alongside him and getting more game time, his concentration will improve.
Decision – I would say his decision making is good for a youngster. Yes, he will make the odd bad pass during games but that will only get better with playing time.
Acceleration – Very quick player. If he does make any mistake which leads to the other team going on a counter attack, he pace and energy will get him back in position. Also, his pace going forward is very dangerous, if needed he will beat a player to put a cross into the box.
So, where does James Justin go from here? Justin is currently training with England’s U19s and has been rumoured to be on a move to former Premier League Champions Leicester City. Do I think he will leave Luton Town? No. Unless James is given first-team football in the Premier League, he will not leave to become third choice right back and play in a development squad.