So, there’s this defender who created more goals and chances in the Championship last season than any other who had played across the backline.
Somebody whose 11 assists helped Middlesbrough reach the play-offs and someone Rob Edwards gave his senior debut to.
His name? Ryan Giles.
Ticking all the right boxes, and looking absolutely resplendent in our new away shirt (you’re welcome, pre-order here), the 23-year-old wing-back joins for an undisclosed fee from his boyhood club Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“I’ve reached the point that at my age that I’ve had a lot of loans and I feel those experiences have made me the player and the person I am today. Now this is a different direction, a new beginning, a new chapter,” said Giles in his first interview as a Luton player.
“I’m grateful to Rob for giving me my first taste of men’s football and now with the chance to work with him again, especially in the Premier League, it is a fantastic opportunity.
“I thrive off creating chances and I can’t wait to get to know my teammates and get the fans off their seats. I’m really excited and want to hit the ground running.”
Town boss Edwards, said: “He’s a really exciting signing for us. I’ve known Ryan for a long period of time; I gave him his first taste of senior football back at AFC Telford when he was a young kid on loan from Wolves.
“He’s had a few loans and he’s got lots of experience now, cumulating in last season where he was one of the most outstanding wide players in the Championship. He’s got electric pace and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone who can cross a ball on the run with the quality he can while at full speed.
“He’s going to help us in those moments when we need to transition quickly, and he also possesses outstanding set-piece quality. He goes into the mix with Issa and Alfie for those wing-back positions which is a really exciting area for us. He’s shown he’s a very, very good Championship player who is now hungry to show what he can do in the Premier League.”
Ryan Giles – the story so far
Born in Telford in January 2000, Giles’ footballing education began at Wolves. Progressing through the ranks at Molineux, he was named Academy Player of the Year in 2018.
His first taste of senior football came thanks to his now new boss, who took him on loan at hometown club AFC Telford in 2018, where his two goals and seven assists in nine matches helped the Bucks avoid relegation from National League North.
Giles had a birthday present to remember when he turned 19 in January 2019 when he was given his Wolves debut in an FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury – the club he would then move to the following campaign on-loan. The 2018/19 campaign saw Ryan help Wolves Under-23s win the Premier League 2 with Edwards at the helm.
He began the 2019/20 season with the Shrews, making 19 appearances in League 1. His displays with the Shrews led to him signing for Coventry on loan before the season was curtailed due to the outbreak of Covid.
When football restarted in 2020/21 Giles returned to Coventry, joining the Sky Blues in the Championship following their promotion, appearing 19 times in league action during the first half of that season before ending the campaign with Rotherham, where he featured 23 times and scored twice.
Two loans in the Championship followed for Ryan in 2021/22 at Cardiff and Blackburn where he continued to impress with his performance down the left flank. However, last season proved to be a real breakthrough for him, playing 48 times in all competitions on loan at Middlesbrough as Boro finished in fourth place.
Welcome to Kenilworth Road, Ryan!