Newcastle are set to move soon for Tom Lawrence according to reports this morning.
The 23 year old was named the players’ player of the year this season at Ipswich Town and according to the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez has had the versatile attacking player watched all season.
Scoring nine Championship goals this past season, Tom Lawrence can operate as a winger, attacking midfielder, and an out and out striker.
As well as having his scouting team watch Lawrence regularly, Rafa Benitez saw up close what the player could do in the final defeat of the season, as the loan star turned on the style as Ipswich outplayed Newcastle and won 3-1. Tom Lawrence pulled the strings and set Ipswich on their way when creating the opening goal for Freddie Sears.
Now a Welsh international, Tom Lawrence has only previously had 121 minutes of Premier League football, though after his year on loan at Ipswich, Mick McCarthy confidently predicted that it will be top tier football for Lawrence, as he is far too good for the Championship.
Lawrence made only one league appearance for Manchester United before a £1m move to Leicester in 2014 but has made only three brief substitute appearances in the Premier League for the Foxes and instead has picked up game time in a series of loans.
Tom Lawrence actually made his debut for Leicester against Newcastle United, only days after Alan Pardew walked out of St James Park, Lawrence was part of the team that beat the Magpies 1-0 in the FA Cup.
Newcastle considered a move for the Welsh international in January but according to the Chronicle decided to wait until the summer when the bargaining position would be better, with Leicester willing to sell.
The player only has 12 months remaining on the four year contract he signed in 2014 and is now set to find a permanent home away from the King Power Stadium.
Despite only starting 32 (plus two from the bench) league game, Tom Lawrence was involved in a remarkable 18 of Ipswich’s paltry 48 goals (only four teams scored less), with nine assists as well as his nine Championship goals.
With a very good work ethic as well as his ability, you can understand why Rafa Benitez is interested.
Also interesting to see what the going rate will be for a player who has shown the ability to score and create goals below Premier League level.
After the season ended, Lawrence appeared to accept that his future lies away from Leicester City, saying:
“I have got a long summer ahead and we’ll see what happens.
“There’s a possibility of many different things but I don’t know my future yet – I have got a lot of discussions to have.”