Will Leicester regret letting Tom Lawrence leave ?
DATE: 18.08.2017 - THE CUNNING FOX - NEWSDESK
After a terrific loan
spell at Championship side Ipswich Town last season, Welsh
international Tom Lawrence was hoping that it would have earned him
a crack at breaking through into Leicester City's
Premier League line-up.
Source: Ipswich Town Football Club via
Lawrence won Players' Player of the Year at Ipswich, the wide
attacker ending with nine crucial goals in 34 appearances.
Tom Lawrence claims his award for Goal of the Season after his
long-range stunner for Ipswich against QPR. Source: Ipswich Town
Football Club via
Life outside one of the super clubs is slightly different, and
Lawrence would have had every reason to expect that his dazzling
loan should culminate at a shot in the Leicester first team.
Leicester have a squad with reasonable depth, but there was still
scope for Lawrence to muscle his way into the wide positions.
Leicester are aiming to finish in the top half, and will need
someone to replace Riyad Mahrez for goals and creativity if the
Algerian does depart.
Fans of Ipswich and manager Mick McCarthy
were keen to see Lawrence stay at Ipswich, but McCarthy is nothing
if not a realist. Lawrence was always out of Ipswich's price range,
and McCarthy was aware that his immediate future would be in the
Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare originally seemed to bear the same
opinion, having rebuffed a bid from Championship side Derby. Yet
Derby persisted with a £7 million offer which Leicester accepted.
Only time will tell if Leicester will wish they had retained the
A 4-3 defeat against Arsenal in the opening match of the season
should provide more positives than negatives for Leicester. With
Arsenal fifth favourites at 11/1 for the title with
Paddy Power, a narrow defeat at the Emirates is nothing to be
disappointed about. Lawrence would have felt that he could make
decisive contributions in tight matches such as these.
After all, Lawrence didn't merely do a job at Ipswich, but instead
carried the team at a crucial point in the season with his goals and
creativity. Many of his goals were winning goals, and helped stave
off the threat of relegation for an Ipswich side that lacked a
standout central striker.
Traditionally, a successful-loan spell would mark a clear pathway to
the first team; after all, the primary reason for loaning a player
out is to further his development elsewhere so that he can return as
an improved player ready to contribute. Chelsea, in particular, have
defied that logic, with a
plethora of loanees but no real scope for progression into the
first team squad.
Nathan Ake excelled at Bournemouth, showing his readiness for
Premier League football, but has now been allowed to join
permanently. Lewis Baker and Dominic Solanke are exciting prospects,
for club as well as country, but Baker heads to Middlesbrough on
loan and Solanke has joined Liverpool in the hope that his
development will not be wasted.
Lawrence's fearless running gave defenders
headaches, whilst his variety of strikes almost made Ipswich's Goal
of the Season competition a one-man show. This would have made him
the ideal candidate to replace Mahrez.
Whilst the Welshman needs to
work on his petulance and his consistency, he certainly has the
skills to grace the Premier League. Lawrence may well do that in the
white of Derby instead of the blue of Leicester.
You can watch Tom Lawrence highlights from his Ipswich days at "city-extra"
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