Ayr Advertiser reporter Stewart McConnell gives us the lowdown on Pompey target and prolific Scottish marksman Lawrence Shankland.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 1:15 am

Lawrence Shankland is a goal machine and has a natural instinct for finishing.

He’s one of the most exciting players I’ve seen in four decades of watching Ayr. He’s explosive.

Ayr took a gamble on keeping Lawrence knowing they’d lose him for nothing as a free agent.

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It will be a big deal for him wherever he moves, and when I spoke to him at the player-of-the-year night he was looking likely to move on and cut his teeth at a higher level.

He could certainly play at Championship level in England, the Premier League we’d have to wait and see. He’s certainly got the potential if he keeps working at it.

Rangers were mentioned as possible destination up here, but that seems to have gone quiet while Sunderland and Portsmouth are others.

PAISLEY, SCOTLAND - JULY 30: Lawrence Shankland of St Mirren in action during the BETFRED Cup Group Stage between St Mirren and Edinburgh City at St Mirren Park on July 30, 2016 in Paisley, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

I could see Lawrence going into a team at League One level, getting them promoted and then having a shot at the Championship.

Lawrence is always keen to develop his game and is a perfectionist. He likes things to go well and will get the team motivated and fired up.

There’s no doubt he has very high personal standards and is a very determined player.

His manager Ian McCall called him a complex character. I think when he said that he could’ve been referring to the fact he’s very single-minded.

Maybe that’s because he’d been at a higher level before with Aberdeen and took a step back. Now he wants to go up the ladder again.

Ayr were crying out for a goalscorer, he stepped in and it went perfectly.

He had a few injury problems mid-way through the season but came through them well. There’s no doubt he’s going to be missed.

Lawrence needs good supply to thrive, but he can react well to situations as well. He can go on runs himself and isn’t always waiting for a pass.

Lawrence is neat and tidy, a decent size at 6ft 1in and can get above defenders in the air. He’s strong, lean and can lead the line.

From 2017 to 2019 he scored 50 goals in 61 appearances. That ratio would’ve been higher if he’d not been injured, too. It’s quite something.

He’s capable of turning a season for a side and could really make a name for himself on the south coast.