Luton Town enjoyed a much better campaign than they would have hoped for last season. The Hatters finished sixth in the EFL Championship points table and qualified for the playoffs, though they were beaten by Huddersfield Town. In the season prior to the last one, Luton finished 12th. Their aim this season should be, once again, to challenge for promotion. For that to happen, the Hatters need to strengthen their squad. Despite the losses of Kal Naismith and Danny Hylton, they have managed to add Cauley Woodrow from recently relegated Barnsley.
Woodrow played 28 games for Barnsley in the EFL Championship last season as the team was relegated from the second tier of English football. He netted four goals throughout the course of the campaign and did so at a rate of 0.15 per 90, below the 0.26 per 90 that xG predicted. He fired off 2.53 shots per 90, and the Englishman hit close to 43% of these attempts on target. He ranked in the bottom half among forwards for touches in the penalty box per 90, dribbles per 90 and successful dribble rate. Likewise, he was also in the bottom half for attacking actions per 90.
Woodrow provided one assist in addition to his four strikes. But he still underperformed compared to xA, as the metric estimated him to provide two assists. He was largely involved in the game, attempting more than 24 passes per 90, though his pass accuracy of 75.54% ranked him just above average. The Englishman attempted 3.17 passes into the attacking third per 90, which was good enough to be in the 94th percentile, and he completed 60% of these passes. With 1.42 long passes per 90, 0.71 smart passes per 90, 1.04 shot assists per 90 and 0.78 through balls per 90, he was placed in the top 15% or higher in all these categories.
Three out of Woodrow’s four goals came from inside the box. Even though he mustered 43% of his shots on target, his xG per shot of 0.1 put him in the bottom quartile. That could be one of the reasons why he registered only four goals in spite of attempting 72 shots. It took his conversion rate to an inefficient 18 shots per goal scored. This could be due to the significant percentage of his shot attempts coming from way outside the penalty area. Only one of his four strikes came from the penalty spot.
Woodrow was most active when he positioned himself in the final third. He could play across the line just behind the striker. He also spent a lot of time inside the centre circle, mostly to receive passes to launch counterattacks.
Cauley Woodrow may have underperformed last season but so did the whole Barnsley team, especially in attack. They scored the fewest goals and finished rock bottom of the EFL Championship table. But the Englishman scored 12 and assisted five in the season prior to the last one, and this may play into Luton Town’s favour.