Byron Lawrence could make Ipswich Town debut this season

He’s 15 years old, already training with the first team and has been compared to England and Arsenal’s brightest young talent.

Byron Lawrence is set for a big future. That is the opinion of Ipswich manager Paul Jewell who has already tied the teenager down to a pre-contract agreement to ensure the Premier League vultures don’t swoop.

And Jewell has predicted a big future for the schoolboy who he has, reluctantly, likened to Arsenal star Jack Wilshere.

The Town boss said: “We’ve signed Byron Lawrence because if we don’t, someone else will. He’s training with the first team and he’s one that’s a bright prospect.

“He’s one, and I don’t want to say this because I know it’ll get blown up – that reminds me of Jack Wilshere. He’s built that way, he uses his body and he’s a clever player. Whenever he trains for the first team, he doesn’t look out of place.”

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Jewell believes Lawrence, who was on the bench for Town’s Carling Cup match against Northampton in August, heads a group of youngsters within the current Ipswich ranks that points to a bright future.

He explained: “There’s a group of first and second year academy players that I think are progressing nicely. We’ve also got Joe Whight who I think’s going to be a good player.”

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And the Blue Army might have a new young hope to cheer with Jewell hinting that Lawrence could make a Town Championship squad this season.

Despite his tender age, Lawrence is not short of confidence as Jewell revealed: “He could feature this season. Put it this way, if I made him sub at Forest, he’d be disappointed (not to start).

“That’s his attitude, he’s a good lad and he takes everything in his stride. I certainly think he’ll be a very good player.”

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