According to reports in the Mirror this morning, newly-promoted Brighton and Hove Albion are prepared to break their record transfer fee for the second time this summer on Tom Lawrence.
The 23-year-old forward, valued at £8 million by current employers Leicester City, is believed to be firmly on the radar of Brighton boss Chris Hughton as he looks to strengthen his squad for next year.
The Seagulls have already broken their record transfer fee once this summer, signing Australian goalkeeper Matt Ryan from Valencia for £5.1 million, and they may have to do it again to secure Lawrence.
Would Lawrence help Brighton’s survival chances?
Whenever a Championship side gets promoted to the pinnacle of the Premier League the general feeling is that a successful season will end in them retaining their top-flight status for another year.
Although many recent examples – just look at Bournemouth and Burnley – suggest that it is a real possibility to ‘overachieve’ in a sense, Brighton’s main concern for next year should be that survival.
And Tom Lawrence could really boost their attacking options as they make their debut Premier League bow, with 11 goals in 36 games last season on-loan at Ipswich, showing he has a prolific edge.
The ex-Manchester United man is known for being quick and agile around the edge of the area, possessing incredible ability with his feet. There are not many players in the Championship that can dribble the ball and glide past players as effortlessly as he can, and he proved this in abundance.
Best utilised on the wing, rather than in a lone striking role, he got most of his joy for Ipswich last year playing on the left flank, as he was able to cut inside onto his favoured right-foot and fire shots at goal.
But aside from his ability on the ball he is a hard-worker for whoever he plays for as well and you won’t ever see him give up – not even on a so-called ‘lost cause’ – and it is this heart Brighton need.
Add to this his tendency to produce the spectacular – just Google his sublime solo effort against Preston North End last season – and Brighton may be on the brink of signing a defender’s nightmare.
With Jamie Vardy in their ranks leading the line, and the likes of Shinji Okazaki preferred by Foxes’ boss Craig Shakespeare, there is little chance for Lawrence next season – so Brighton should pounce.