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Lawrence returns on permanent deal

FC St. Pauli have strengthened their defence with the addition of central defender James Lawrence. The 28-year-old Welshman arrives at the Millerntor from Belgian top-division club RSC Anderlecht and has penned a deal until 30 June 2022. The two clubs have agreed not to disclose any details of the transfer.

The Welsh international spent last season on loan at FC St. Pauli, scoring one goal and providing one assist in 14 second-division outings. Lawrence moved to Belgium from Slovak top-flight outfit AS Trenčín in 2018 and made 26 competitive appearances for RSC Anderlecht. He has also played five times for Wales.

Reaction to the deal:

Director of sport Andreas Bornemann: "We would have liked to sign James at the end of last season but the transfer fee set out in the loan agreement was out of our reach. It was no secret that James felt very much at home at St. Pauli, though, so we're very happy to have made the transfer possible."

Head coach Timo Schultz: "We were able to convince ourselves of James's qualities last season. He's very good at building up the play from the back, but also in direct duels and in the air. The fact that he already knows the club and large parts of the team makes it easy for us to reintegrate him quickly.”

James Lawrence: "When I left St. Pauli, it felt like I was unfinished there and that I left a bit of my heart behind. Now, I'm really happy because it feels a little bit like coming back home. I've been watching the games up until now and like the style of football we're trying to play. I had a good conversation with the coach about the positive atmosphere, so I think it can be a really good season and hopefully I can help with that."


After testing positive for Covid-19 at Anderlecht, James Lawrence self-isolated for the required amount of time. He has since tested negative, which means he may be able to start full training next week.


Photos: Witters