On the opening night, when Luton drew 3-3 at home to Middlesbrough, it was clear that Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was not the perfect option in the holding role in Graeme Jones’ diamond.
Mpanzu does not quite have the athleticism he possessed in Luton’s 2013-14 National League title-winning side, but the spontaneous, impulsive nature of his game is still there.
Mpanzu will challenge for a ball that might not be his or try a pass that might not be on.
Those tendencies can be very useful in certain roles, as we saw in the win over Bristol City, in which he scored a sublime opener.
As a holding midfielder though, any negative consequences of the risks Mpanzu takes will be more keenly felt by the defence.
It is, therefore, a huge plus for Luton to have Martin Cranie back fit to take on the holding role.
Cranie, a centre-back by trade, can plug gaps, remain defensively alert and sometimes even slot to the right of the defence to form a temporary back three, allowing Bolton to push up.