Tom Lawrence opens up over Ryan Giggs passing him the torch

Manchester United mainstay Giggs replaced the youngster in his last match as a player.

Manchester United currently brag a multitude of young and hungry prospects determined to make an impact in the senior squad - Adnan Januzaj has already embarked on a successful graduation and Under-21 stars such as Andreas Pereira, James Wilson and Tom Lawrence are all eager to replicate Januzaj's career path.

For Welshman Lawrence, 20, it is very much a case of following in his idol Ryan Giggs' footsteps, a Stretford veteran who retired from pitch duty at the end of last season, in order to continue his work from the dugout.

Lawrence is grateful to Giggs for many reasons: 1, for providing him his first-team debut while Ryan was interim manager; 2, for being the one he replaced in his very last match, an effective passing of the torch; and 3, for the continued support.

"Giggs is a great influence," he told Wales Online. "It’s good that he’s still going to be there at United as he obviously believes in me because he gave me my debut. Hopefully, I can repay him and United by showing him my talents and how good I can be."

A forward from Wrexham, Lawrence revels in the space just behind the main striker and enjoyed a superb debut a month ago, against Hull City. While Wilson shone due to his two-goal display, Lawrence's star was also bright as he created two goal-scoring opportunities, retained possession well (86% pass completion), always looked to be on the football in order to influence the match (58 touches in 70 minutes) and embarked on five dribble attempts.

His swagger may be key next term, as incoming manager Louis van Gaal is renowned for his faith in youth and ability to develop talent.

“It was nice to be the one [Giggs] replaced in his last game," said Lawrence, of his substitution with 20 minutes remaining against the Tigers. "It was a bit of a surprise but I didn’t have much time to get nervous about it.

"The manager called me into the office the day before and said I was in his plans but I didn’t know if I was going to be coming off the bench, let alone starting. To then get the nod was incredible. I prepared myself right and hopefully did myself justice.

“It’s something I can look back on, being involved in his last game. It was an unbelievable moment and hopefully [there will be] a few more like that in my career because, once you get a taste, you want more and more. We’ll have to see but things are looking upwards."

Lawrence is currently readying himself for his international debut with Wales, as Chris Coleman's Dragons take on the Netherlands - where Lawrence will compete against future United boss Louis van Gaal - at the Amsterdam Arena.

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