It was a welcome, if not entirely expected, return for Tom Lawrence to the starting line-up yesterday. The 29-year-old Welshman has struggled with a few injuries this season. This made the game against Livingston only his fourth Scottish Premiership appearance of the season.
You wouldn’t have been able to tell with how he played though. He’s so good at picking up pockets of space and creating for others. He’s strong on the ball and consistently dynamic when going forward.
His tenacity defensively is also a big plus. He constantly looks to win the ball back and is dogged in his quest to do so. Having Tom Lawrence fit for a prolonged period of time would benefit Rangers greatly.
There aren’t many, if any, who provide exactly what he does. If he can stay injury-free, Philippe Clement has another exciting attacking weapon in his arsenal.
These are Tom Lawrence’s stats from yesterday;
- 78 Minutes Played
- 1 Assist
- 5 Chances Created (1 Big Chance Created)
- 78% Pass Accuracy
- 67% Long Ball Accuracy (2/3)
- 3 Recoveries
- 50% Ground Duels Won (1/2)
- 100% Aerial Duels Won (1/1)
Tom Lawrence was a creative force for Rangers yesterday. There’s not many matches where someone creates more chance than either full back but the Welshman managed that yesterday.
His passing through the lines helps Rangers get forward quickly. Then the through ball for Dessers was absolutely sublime.
The Eye Test
Lawrence was constantly looking to get involved yesterday. Then when he was on the ball he always tried to be positive with it. One of his greatest assets is his dogged determination on and off the ball. That’s what makes it so difficult for defenders to get the ball off of him.
He also manages to find brilliant pockets of space which allow him to create chances. He drifts in and out of positions which makes him difficult to mark.
Then when he is in the space his vision is excellent. Couple that vision with brilliant passing ability, particularly in terms of the weight of his passes.
This was epitomised by his assist yesterday. He slips in between two Livingston defenders to get onto his right foot. Then he plays a pass through that splits the defence perfectly into Dessers path. The Nigerian striker then does well to take the ball in and drive at goal. Although the bounce was lucky, it was an excellent goal all round.
Tom Lawrence holds a presence in the midfield and looks to control the game. As previously mentioned, he can be a massive asset for Rangers and Philippe Clement if he can stay free from injury.
Tom Lawrence’s Season So Far
These are the Welshman’s Scottish Premiership numbers so far;
- 4 Appearances
- 2 Assists
- 80% Pass Accuracy Per90
- 50% Long Ball Accuracy Per90
- 3.17 Chances Created Per90
- 4.07 Duels Won Per90
- 3.62 Recoveries Per90
He’s capable of doing it all. He can play behind the striker like he did yesterday, as a left winger or as an 8. He’s a versatile asset who has quality and a player Rangers will benefit hugely from having fit.
The fact that he not only adds depth but adds quality and experience is a huge plus for the new manager who no doubt was impressed by him yesterday.
Tom Lawrence could be a huge figure in Rangers quest for success this season. The big question remains though, can he steer clear of injuries?
There’s no doubt his impact when on the pitch. Getting him on the pitch and keeping him there has been an issue though. Hopefully this latest injury recovery is the last he needs to go through for a while.
How did you rate his performance yesterday? How excited are you to have him back in the starting 11? Can he be a key figure if he stays fit?
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