A lot of fans have also asked Ibrox Noise about Tom Lawrence, after we expressed a host of players we’d like to keep, seven in total, while shipping out the rest. We didn’t mention him.
The problem we have with Tom Lawrence is what we call the ‘Jamie Murphy Fallacy’.
If you remember, Jamie was a first choice under Steven Gerrard and featured in all the qualifying rounds of that season’s Europa League – he was an SPL regular.
But then he got that horror ACLI at Rugby Park which ruled him out and effectively cost him 18 months. Once he was fit, he was completely ignored and didn’t play much more than about 10 minutes again for the club.
Because time waits for no man. Michael Beale might be ‘reassuring’ us that Tom Lawrence will be back this summer for next season, but we at Ibrox Noise have dismissed the Welshman in relevance simply because he was a Giovanni van Bronckhorst signing and this is now the Michael Beale era.
And he hasn’t been available basically the whole season.
Rangers cannot wait for any one man to be fit – we move on, ruthlessly, but we move on, and we cannot rely on a long-term injury recovery as a pathway or strategy.
Are we claiming his Rangers career is done?
Past history says yes – that he won’t have much of a role going forward. He may get some preseason, but he’s not Beale’s player and Beale will sign his own this summer – he already has, in the outstanding Todd Cantwell.
But it’s not so much we’re cynically shipping Lawrence out, or keeping him, we just do not know what potential role he’ll have. Past history doesn’t favour his chances.
Look at Hagi – still not quite ‘there’ yet, and miles off being a regular starter – he MIGHT get one or two now the season is done, but he’s not the (already imperfect) player he was, and following that injury he’s just fringe as things stand.
Lawrence isn’t just going to waddle back into the first team as if a year hasn’t just passed.
Jamie Murphy knows this as well as anyone.