By Joe Ellis

21st Jul, 2022 | 4:40pm

Rangers: Mark Warburton hints at Tom Lawrence being game-changer at Ibrox

Rangers recently took apart Premier League outfit West Ham United in a pre-season friendly and there was one standout player.

Signing on a free transfer having left Derby County, Tom Lawrence has quickly settled into life in Glasgow and was at his best as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side won 3-1 against the Irons.

The Welsh international scored one of the goals with Rabbi Matondo and Ryan Kent adding the other two from wide areas and Lawrence has received high praise from Hammers coach, and former Gers boss, Mark Warburton.

“He’s a very talented player,” he said, as quoted by Rangers Review. “He has individual goal-scoring ability, shooting from range, great technique. He sees a pass, is clever running with the ball and has clever movement. 

“When teams get into the low block and ask Rangers to break them down, Tom certainly has the attributes to do that. That’s a very shrewd bit of business from Giovanni and likewise Tom, like any player, will relish the expectation of pulling on a blue jersey and in front of a crowd of that quality in a stadium of that stature. 

“It’s a good move, I think everyone will benefit from it and I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses for Rangers.”

Locksmith

If Rangers lacked anything last season, it was that player who could create something from nothing and unlock that stubborn Scottish defence of a lowly Premiership side.

That is no longer a problem for van Bronckhorst because Lawrence has been doing exactly that at Pride Park for the last few years and carrying them to results at times.

Despite a stellar individual season, he couldn’t quite keep the Rams away from relegation after a 21-point deduction for financial difficulties which saw him leave the club as a result.

With Rangers though, he now has the platform and the quality alongside him to make his goals and assists count towards success for the first time in a long time and that might bring even more out of him.

Alongside fellow new signing Malik Tillman, there won’t be a defensive unit in the land that could keep van Bronckhorst’s machine quiet and a front three of Matondo, Kent and Antonio Colak will get chances aplenty.

In other Rangers news, the Light Blues have been asked to pay £5.1million including a sell-on clause to sign this international defender.