Is the Acquisition of Tom Lawrence a Good One for Derby County?
Lets be honest here, this is the best signing Derby County fans could have hoped for after the experienced acquisitions of Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone and Andre Wisdom. A young, pacy, tricky attacker who will drive Derby onto the next level is what was needed this summer.
The transfer market has remained stagnant this summer, whilst managers are awaiting the country's top clubs to have finalised their squads in order for the money to filter through to the 'lesser' teams in both the Premier League and Championship.
When the bigger clubs finish their business there will be more money around and more options to buy players, so for the Rams to secure this signing in such a tough environment is superb business from Mel Morris and Co.
£7m for Tom Lawrence though is definitely great business from Derby County, it seems a snip in today's current economic market which has seen Liverpool reject a £136m offer for Philippe Coutinho who would've been worth around £50m just last summer.
Goals have been few and far between for Derby County in past seasons and with only two goals in the first three opening games of the season it is evident that more creative and clinical influences are needed at Pride Park.
To help cure the lack of goals the Rams signed Wales international winger Tom Lawrence last week from Leicester City for an initial fee believed to be £5m that could rise to £7m as reported by BBC Radio Derby Sport.
The ex-Ipswich man's eye for goal is something Derby have lacked. Although Matej Vydra has scored two goals from the penalty spot recently, the Czech international has failed to hit the ground running since his move from Watford and has found life difficult at Derby.
Similarly the likes of Abdoul Camara and Nick Blackman were unable to perform to a semi-decent standard which has issued their move away from Rowett's side.
Therefore a lot of pressure has been heaped onto young Tom Lawrence after the of Derby County's past signings failing to make a big enough impact. The new man is certainly a talent that needs to be utilised by Gary Rowett.
Brought up through Manchester United's academy and spending four years at Leicester, albeit those years on loan spells away from the 2015/16 Premier League champions, the new Derby County signing possesses huge amounts of quality.
Loan spells at Rotherham, Blackburn, Cardiff and Ipswich respectively has given the young midfielder much needed Championship experience and should put him in good stead for his new club.
Ipswich who were very poor last season were rather close to relegation, and if it wasn't for Lawrence who proved to be the only bright spark in the side scoring 11 goals and assisting 11 times also the Tractor Boys could well have found themselves in League One.
The Tractor Boys’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards were won by Lawrence for his performances, he also scored a number of stunning goals and lifted the club’s Goal of the Season accolade for his fine strike against Queens Park Rangers in January 2017.
Lawrence can play in any of the three advanced midfield positions or as a forward in Derby's current 4-3-2-1 formation. Whether he plays on the left, right or centrally his dynamism when on the ball will help create further chances for the Rams and is set to be an outstanding acquisition in an already experienced looking squad.
At times Derby's attacking play has looked slow and timid already this season, with Lawrence's introduction this should liven up the pace and style of football in the attacking third, and fingers crossed will give Derby the edge in tight encounters where his talent can help win games and boost Derby into a promotion spot.
David Nugent spoke to Derby Telegraph about the Rams' new acquisition and said:
"You can see that he has that arrogance about him... in a good way. He's very skilful and can shoots with his left or right foot.
"We've all seen the goals he scored on loan at Ipswich last season. Hopefully, he can replicate some of them goals for us and start showing that kind of form again."
The form shown by Lawrence last season has provoked a huge amount of excitement amongst Derby County supporters. Their new number ten could finally be the missing piece in the puzzle as they look for promotion to the Premier League.