Ipswich Town need to replace Tom Lawrence, but conducting early business isn’t imperative, says Terry Butcher

Tom Lawrence starred on loan at Ipswich Town last season.

Tom Lawrence starred on loan at Ipswich Town last season.

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Terry Butcher believes Ipswich Town still need to replace Tom Lawrence, but says it’s not imperative the club wrap up their transfer business before the new Championship season starts.

Lawrence (23) scored 11 times in 36 games, during a hugely successful loan spell from Leicester last term – his displays saving Ipswich from potential relegation and seemingly pricing them out of a permanent move for him.

Manager Mick McCarthy has so far drafted in five new recruits at Portman Road, including Manchester City’s Kosovan winger, Bersant Celina, on a season-long loan.

Celina (20) is the nearest thing to a replacement for Lawrence at the moment, and Butcher thinks Town need more guile – albeit a new addition come the opening day of the new campaign is not vital, according to the former Ipswich and England skipper.

Butcher, who has been working in the media, watching the recent Under-21 European Championships in Poland – a tournament that England reached the semi-final of – said: “I am relatively happy with what the club have done so far, but I still think they need a Tom Lawrence-type player to excite the fans.

“These players are hard to come by but there are still some young nuggets out there, and there were one or two in Poland that I wouldn’t mind seeing at Portman Road.

“The deals are difficult to do at this stage of the season though as Premier League clubs and other top sides won’t release their young players until the first few weeks of the season, as they are needed for the pre-season tours, while the clubs are still conducting their own business.”

Lawrence scored his first goal for the Blues in the 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday last November, a wonderful solo goal that kickstarted his career at Portman Road.

“Tom Lawrence didn’t blossom straight away, it took him a bit of time to get going,” Butcher added.

“Once he did, he proved to be an exceptional signing and Mick McCarthy deserves a lot of praise for that.

“But in terms of bringing in new signings, while you want all your eggs in a row before pre-season, it’s not all about the start you make, it’s about becoming a team throughout the season.

“We have seen teams go up through the play-offs before that have taken time to get going before building up a head of steam.”

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