LIAM LAWRENCE JOINS STOKE ON LOAN
PULIS SNARES HIS WIDE BOY
Stoke City unveiled Sunderland winger Liam Lawrence at Hull City today after clinching his loan signing late last night.The 24-year-old was lined up for an immediate debut after being drafted in as a probable long-term replacement for Luke Chadwick.
Lawrence has joined on a two-month loan initially, but Stoke are expected to agree a fee in the region of £500,000 with Sunderland when the transfer window re-opens on January 1.
He linked up with his new colleagues at their hotel in Hull following protracted negotiations between Stoke and Sunderland. City manager Tony Pulis, who was trailing Lawrence when he signed his Sunderland team-mate Rory Delap in October, says: "I think he's a quality player and I'm delighted to get him.
"He's obviously a replacement for Luke and I'm hoping he will come in and do a similar job to what Luke did.
"He was promoted as a champion when Sunderland won this league a couple of season ago, but I think he's still got his best years ahead of him.
"I've seen a lot of him over the years and think he's quality. He's a good crosser of the ball and will score a goal."
Pulis intensified his efforts to sign Lawrence this week when Stoke let Chadwick join Norwich for an initial fee of £220,000.
Lawrence will effectively be replacing Delap, too, after he vacated the right midfield slot when breaking his leg in two places in only his second appearance for Stoke in October... against Sunderland.
Lawrence, English by birth but qualified to play for Ireland, moved to Sunderland from Mansfield in June 2004 for £175,000 (rising eventually to £325,000) after stacking up 135 starts and 18 sub appearances) and scoring 40 times for the Stags.
He leaves Wearside after netting 10 goals in 54 starts and 26 appearances from the bench, including five during Roy Keane's 13 games in charge at the Stadium Of Light.
Stoke's right-wing berth has been a cursed position from the very first day of the season when Chadwick collapsed from de-hydration at Southend and City went on to lose 1-0.
Delap was subsequently signed on loan from Sunderland, but suffered a broken leg at the start of his home debut against his old club.
Latest | November 2006