Luton Town made two new additions to their attacking department in the form of John McAtee and Aribim Pepple. The former has been signed from EFL League Two side Grimsby Town (and has been loaned back to the team for this season), and the latter arrives from Cavalry FC in the Canadian Premier League. While these are exciting additions for the Hatters, how do they compare to Elijah Adebayo and Harry Cornick, who are already established members of the squad? Given below is a comparison of the new signings to the existing players.
Adebayo and Cornick scored 28 goals between them last season as Luton reached the promotion playoffs. Adebayo had the higher xG per 90 percentile, but Cornick got the better of him in non-penalty goals per 90. Cornick was ranked higher in the following categories: shots per 90, percentage of shots on target, touches in the attacking penalty area per 90 and non-penalty goals. In the remaining categories i.e., xG per shot, headed goals per 90, dribbles per 90 and the goal conversion rate, it was Adebayo who was the better striker. The average rank for Adebayo was in the 69.67th percentile. For Cornick, it was in the ~59th percentile.
McAtee scored 14 goals in the National League last season as Grimsby won promotion to the Football League. His xG per 90 was in the 89th percentile, and his non-penalty goals per 90 were good enough for the upper decile. The only notable area of weakness was his heading as he was ranked in the bottom 10% among forwards. In every other category, he was placed in the upper third at least, if not, even higher. This includes xG per shot, shots per 90, dribbles per 90, percentage of shots on target, goal conversion rate and touches inside the penalty area per 90. The average ranking was in the 72.4th percentile, higher than both Adebayo and Cornick.
Pepple has made seven appearances so far in the 2022 Canadian Premier League season for Cavalry FC, four of which were starts. He has played an average of 60 minutes per game so far this campaign for 419 minutes.
In his time on the pitch, Pepple has scored six goals or one every 70 minutes. This goal-scoring rate of 0.9 per game is comfortably above all of Adebayo, Cornick and McAtee. He has taken 2.7 shots per game, of which more than half tested the opposition goalkeepers. He also converted one penalty. He has had a goal conversion rate of 32% and most of his goals came from the right foot.
The additions of McAtee and Pepple are exciting for Luton. Given their ages (McAtee is 23 and Pepple is 19), their signings are for the future and neither of them is expected to hit the ground running. They might be the long-term backups to both Adebayo and Cornick.
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