Luton's Mpanzu has chance to put suitors on notice against Chelsea

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu determined for Luton to enjoy Stamford Bridge visit as they look to upset Chelsea in FA Cup… but with his contract up in the summer, club’s longest serving player has chance to put suitors on notice

  • Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is just 26 but is also Luton Town’s longest serving player 
  • He will get the chance to showcase his talents against Chelsea in the FA Cup
  • Mpanzu finds himself out of contract at the end of the 2020-21 campaign 

As platforms go, they won’t come much bigger than Stamford Bridge on Sunday for Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

The 26-year-old has seen it at all as Luton Town’s longest-serving player, from the Conference to the Championship but, after three promotions, he finds himself out of contract this summer.

His immediate focus is to capitalise on Chelsea’s fragile confidence and help spring another FA Cup upset but a strong performance against Mason Mount and Co, could have suitors jumping a beat for Luton’s metronomic midfielder who has already been linked with Norwich City.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is out of contract with Luton Town at the end of the 2020-21 season

He will have the chance to impress against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup

‘As a player you want to test yourself against the best and I’m no different,’ said a bullish Mpanzu. ‘We’ll be going in with the aim of progressing to the next round.

‘It is a day to enjoy, but we’ve got to make sure we try and do as best we can, as we want to be playing teams like Chelsea every week.’

The last meeting between the two sides came back in April 1994, an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley that Luton lost 2-0. Mpanzu was only a few weeks old then and, like Luton, he has taken the tough route back.

Starting out at National League Boreham Wood, he impressed during a trial for West Ham and was handed a contract. Sam Allardyce gave him his first team debut in a League Cup win at Burnley but subsequent opportunities were scarce. Driven and undeterred, he left for Luton, initially on loan, then signed permanently.

Now, 276 appearances later, Mpanzu is unswerving in his ambition to reach the top again.

‘Playing at Stamford Bridge will be a good experience. Hopefully as the season goes on we can make it into the play-offs, you never know what can happen,’ added Mpanzu. 

Mpanzu hopes Luton can take advantage of Chelsea’s defensive frailties in recent weeks

‘Chelsea are a great team though, they’ve won the Premier League, so we’ve got to make sure that we do our job and hopefully can cause an upset. It’s the cup, anything can happen. Everyone knows what Chelsea is about, they’re a great team, have won titles, have international stars, but everyone’s still calm.

‘It’s not a game that’s too big for us, we can more than manage Chelsea, it’s about doing it on the day and hopefully we can get a result. We’re in our second season in the Championship now and hopefully we can go and show Chelsea what a good Championship team we are.

‘Going up the leagues, performing well, there’s blips here and there in your performance but you’ve got to keep mentally strong. You never know what happens in the FA Cup, there’s magic there.’

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