West Brom told that transfer target Tom Lawrence is not for sale
West Brom transfer target Tom Lawrence is going nowhere, says Derby County manager Wayne Rooney.
The Daily Mail claimed last week that the Rams captain was set to exit the club in January, with the Baggies one of several teams named as interested in signing him.
Lawrence starred in Derby’s stunning 3-2 win over Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon, scoring twice in eight minutes to inspire Rooney’s side to come from behind to claim all three points.
After the game, the Rams boss was asked about the transfer speculation around Lawrence, but made the situation clear.
“There is no pressure on any players leaving this football club in January,” Rooney said [via DerbyshireLive].
“If players leave it will be because there is an opportunity for them, and they may come to me and say I want to leave – if I am being honest, I can’t see any players doing that – or it is because I have said to the players ‘thank you, it is probably better of you move on’.
“No player will leave this club without me giving it the go-ahead. With Tom Lawrence, he will be here until the end of the season.”
Deal off the table
Rooney’s comments shut the door on a move that seemed unlikely to happen in the first place for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, Lawrence himself was unlikely to want to make the move. While it would have seen him swapping almost certain relegation for a promotion push, he appears to be relishing the leadership role he has been given at Derby, taking on responsibility and acting as the club’s talisman during a turbulent period.
Indeed, the Welsh international appeared reticent to a Pride Park exit when asked about the rumours himself over the weekend.
At West Brom he would have just been another cog in Valerien Ismael’s attacking machine, left to battle it out for a starting spot with the likes of Karlan Grant, Grady Diangana and Matt Phillips.
That also shows the Baggies don’t necessarily need Lawrence. Ismael will certainly be on the lookout for attacking reinforcements in January, but his priority should be a new central striker instead of more wide options.
In other West Brom news, view our predicted XI for the Baggies’ trip to Blackpool on Tuesday night.