Former Manchester United youngster Tom Lawrence has joined up with his U21 colleague from last season Reece James at Championship side Rotherham United.
Reece James‘ emergency loan move was confirmed yesterday and now Lawrence has joined the Millers until January on a youth loan from Leicester City, subject to Premier League and Football League ratification.
The 20-year-old Welsh winger was a surprising departure from Old Trafford in the summer. Having spent an excellent season on loan at League One Carlisle United (where he scored this brace) and Championship Yeovil Town, he was rewarded with a debut against Hull City by interim manager and current first-team coach Ryan Giggs. That performance earned him a lot of plaudits and he was tipped to make an impact on the first team this season.
However, he joined newly promoted Leicester on Transfer Deadline Day on a four year deal, with reports that United inserted a buy-back clause. Despite excellent performances for the U21 side, Lawrence has found his chances at first team level limited.
“Tom Lawrence is a young man that I first watched at Manchester United where he has been since he was a kid,” boss Steve Evans told Rotherham’s official website.
“I watched him develop at Manchester United Reserves and also during a loan spell at Yeovil Town, and he was a stunning performer in a side that was fighting for survival in The Championship.”
“Leicester City under Nigel Pearson have a reputation for buying young and exciting talent so it was no surprise to see him join Leicester during the summer. We have continued to track his progress at Leicester which included watching Tom during closed door games and under 21 matches and he has been stunning.”
This move appears to be a recognition of Lawrence’s fine form at a level he has arguably outgrown. Regular competitive football in the Championship will do his career no harm and will give him a better platform to create a selection headache for Nigel Pearson. United will inevitably be keeping an eye on developments.