Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted that defender Frankie Musonda might have to go out on loan this season to further enhance his first team credentials.
The 19-year-old centre half signed a new long term deal last week as he remains firmly part of the club's future plans.
However, with the likes of Scott Cuthbert, Glen Rea, Johnny Mullins and Alan Sheehan all ahead of him in the pecking order at the moment, Jones knows he has a fight on his hands to add to his eight first team appearances so far.
He said: “He's going to need to step up this year as it's a big year for him, he can't have another year where he's just literally playing development football.
“He has to challenge and if he doesn't challenge we have to get him a loan move to get him slightly more ready to challenge.
“But he has a great attitude, he's come back and he's as fit as anyone in the football club, if not fitter and he's a real desire to do well, so fair play to him.
“He's shown that leadership when he was in the youth team and he carries that maturity with him every day.
“We're very pleased to have him as he's a good player, hopefully he can develop into the player we think he can.
“He's going to have to work hard because he's not 6 ft 4, so he doesn't dominate as much, he's going to have to be clever and use certain things and learn, but we've got people here who can hopefully teach him.”
While, Musonda's route the first team has a number of obstacles, it appears that fellow youngster Akin Famewo, who suffered from injury last term after making a supremely impressive full league debut at Hartlepool, may well get a chance this term.
Jones added: “It's a difficult one because in front of Frankie, without speaking out of turn, there's three of four right footers that are probably going to play before him.
“Akin's only got Alan really and he's slightly closer, not in terms of performance levels, but in terms of what we like and what we want here.
“So it's a big year for Akin as well as Akin had a wonderful first part of the year, coming in for his first full debut away at Hartlepool.
“He just he picked up a groin injury, which was unfortunate but it happens in the youth, so that curtailed his career a little bit.
“He has to learn and has to learn quickly and he's a confident boy in terms of what he does, but he has to get right up to speed.
“If he does he'll be given opportunities, because in terms of pace and aggression and technical ability he's what I want.”