Giovanni van Bronckhorst confirmed yesterday that despite barely breaking in his new Rangers shoes yet, Tom Lawrence joins the growing long-term absentee list out till next year.
It’s a big blow, and coincides with Rangers’ loss of form immediately his initial injury, sustained v Ross County, before a follow up knock ruled him out for even longer.
But what does it actually mean?
Lawrence hadn’t yet found his identity at Rangers – of all the new signings, only Colak has really discovered himself and his place in the team, Lawrence was nowhere near that, despite some decent performances.
But his stats for Rangers were excellent – five goals and assists in 9 appearances, so let’s not downplay what he’d given us either – this was a player waiting for his big moment in football and Rangers looked like being it.
And let’s not equally pretend he was completely outstanding either – he was good, for sure, as the stats show, but he hadn’t quite set the Rangers heather alight yet Colak-style, and was particularly dreadful at Hibs, despite his goal.
So losing him is a slightly unknown quantity.
We don’t quite know what his importance to the team was, and we hadn’t yet formed his identity within the team, but what we do know is his absence loses us a key option, a versatile option in attack.
We had him, Sakala, Wright, returning Roofe, Kent, and Matondo as the attackers to choose from, which was a healthy array of talent, before we even mention the fellow injureds Hagi and Lowry.
But the loss of Lawrence loses us ‘three’ players – a left winger, a number 10, and a right winger, all of which he could play and quite comfortably.
It’s a blow alright, but one that’s hard to measure because of that lack of truly cementing his place yet.
Lawrence’s CV prior to the Famous is good, if not remarkable, and he’s only played a handful of PL matches – but he did shine in Eindhoven which was a very, very high level, so this is not a loss to take lightly.
But it’s one we’ll just have to deal with, like all the rest.