Tom Lawrence will put friendship to one side if he makes his Ipswich Town debut against Reading
- Credit: PA
Friends will become enemies for Tom Lawrence if he makes his Ipswich Town debut at Reading tomorrow night (8pm, Sky Sports).
The Royals were among a host of Championship clubs interested in signing the 21-year-old attacking midfielder, but he opted to join the Blues on a season-long loan from Premier League champions Leicester City last week.
Had he joined Jaap Stam at the Madjeski Stadium, he would have linked up with his former Manchester United youth team-mate Tyler Blackett and fellow Welsh international Chris Gunter.
“On the field there are no friends,” said Lawrence. “You just focus on the job. If that means going in hard on your mate, then that’s what you do.”
Having come through the ranks at Old Trafford, Lawrence was handed his first-team debut by caretaker boss Ryan Giggs before Louis van Gaal sold him to newly-promoted Leicester for £1m.
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He’s made just three appearances in two years for the Foxes though, having been loaned out to Rotherham, Blackburn and Cardiff.
He still has two years left on his contract at the King Power Stadium.
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“I couldn’t really turn down the Leicester offer,” he explains. “It didn’t go as well as I thought it might go, but I have no regrets.
“They are now buying players for stupid amounts of money and I have to take it on the chin. It’s up to me to come here and show what I can do. Hopefully I will eventually get my chance there.
“I feel my game has improved with the loan spells and hopefully I can carry on improving here.”
Lawrence, who only trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday, added: “I’d say number 10 is my best position, but I can play on the left and cut in on my right foot.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Jonny Williams (ex-Welsh U21 team-mate) again. We link up well.”