Who is surprise Wales call-up James Lawrence?
Ryan Giggs named Anderlecht defender James Lawrence in his recent Wales squad, but who is the uncapped utility, man?
The Manchester United legend has been no stranger to calling up uncapped players, as he creates a new era for Welsh football, blooding through youngsters.
But for the upcoming fixtures against Albania and Denmark, 26-year-old centre-back Lawrence has been included, with the first cap in mind.
So who exactly is James Lawrence?
James Lawrence is an Oxfordshire born defender. He can play as a centre-back and as a defensive midfielder, adding to Giggs’ midfield options, as well as strengthening the already strong centre-back area.
How does he qualify for Wales? Ryan Giggs revealed at the press conference that he qualifies through a grandparent.
Giggs said: “We’ve known about him for the last six months.
He fits the profile.’ Lawrence qualifies through his grandmother. She’s from Haverfordwest.”
He was involved in the youth systems of Arsenal, Enfield and Queens Park Rangers. However a decade ago, a 16-year-old Lawrence moved to the Netherlands, where he linked up with HFC Haarlem.
His performances for Haarlem earnt him a move to Dutch giants Ajax, before joining Jong Sparta Rotterdam and RKC Waalwijk.
Speaking to the Daily Mail he said: “‘I have learnt the English side of the game, Dutch and now Slovakian. You take the best of all three and that’s what you have to do – look at Eric Dier as a great example.
‘I still have the ambition to go back to England. I’d love to test myself and see how I have progressed.
‘But now I’ve played abroad I’m really open to moving to other countries within Europe, somewhere like Germany or Spain, to experience something new. Why not? I’m excited about the future.”
His first team opportunity though came when he moved to Slovakian side FK As Trencin. He spent a total of four years playing for the Fortuna Liga side. He has won the Slovakian League and Cup double twice.
Earlier this year, Lawrence joined Belgian giants Anderlecht. He has since gone on to play seven games for Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side.
Lawrence has experience of playing in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers, playing a total of six games, scoring once.
He is currently nursing an injury according to AnderlechtOnline, as he misses the match against Waasland-Beveren. But Ryan Giggs will be hopeful he can recover, for the upcoming fixtures.
(Featured Image: Daniel Kaplavka)