A look at Ashley Lawrence’s role at Paris Saint-Germain and potential suitors for the Canadian fullback – scout report
Ashley Lawrence is a Canadian international player who is 27 years old and plays as a full-back for PSG currently. She started her senior career at Toronto Lady Lynx in 2013 before joining Ottawa Fury, Vaughan Azzurri and then she made her biggest move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. She won several titles with the Parisian club including the Division 1 Féminine title in 2020–21 and the Coupe de France féminine in 2017–18 and 2021–22. Moreover, she is ranked 7th in the list of all-time most appearances at PSG, with 168 appearances so far.
In this tactical analysis scout report, we will be analysing Lawrence’s abilities and her performances at PSG and Canada while focusing on assessing which teams she can fit best and what tactics suit her the most, following her end of contract next summer. In fact, numerous teams are actually putting Lawrence on their radars and will most probably start negotiations with her very soon.
Teams like Chelsea, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and San Diego were linked with Lawrence and perhaps other teams are also thinking about making a move to get the Canadian international for next season. In addition, a section will be reserved for spotting the most fitting replacements for Lawrence at PSG.
Abilities and playmaking
Lawrence is a right-footed right-back essentially but who has been used in some other positions as well and mainly as a left-back and as a midfielder. Whenever needed, she always fills the gap for the left-back role while performing well defensively and in attack, using her right foot.
According to the following pizza radar, Lawrence is characterised by dribbling since she dribbles a lot per match, which is understandable because she plays in a position where she is often obliged to win duels when having the ball. Being able to dribble a lot is a great asset for a full-back and it just proves that she has some excellent physical abilities including strength and agility at the same time.
Lawrence also exploits this physical strength in an efficient way in the defensive phase and the statistics highlight her excellent advantage over her opponents in terms of defensive duels.
Moreover, Lawrence has got some of the best passing statistics among the Division 1 Féminine full-backs and for such a position, passing can be considered the most important characteristic for succeeding in such a role. Whether it is dangerous passes, progressive passes, or the number of passes per match, Lawrence has got some excellent rates in all of these types of passes, which is outstanding.
She also has a fairly good goal contribution rate, especially if we take into consideration that she plays as a full-back and not as an attacking player. Nevertheless, Lawrence can improve on some aspects if she would like to be a more complete player. Essentially, working on her positioning and on her ability to win aerial duels would make Lawrence a more solid defensive player.
Lawrence is also able to transform into a left winger when advancing on the left flank and she often provides key passes using her left foot or right foot from that wing. And this makes her an even more useful player since she is also able to interpret the winger role without problems. The following example just shows how she was able to exclude her direct opponent with a quick dribble and then cross the ball accurately using her left too, assisting a very beautiful goal.
On the right flank, Lawrence plays naturally in this position and is able to always be dangerous in attack and solid in defence. Her crosses when advancing on the right wing are usually accurate and well-delivered as she has the technique needed to make the ball reach her teammate in the box in a way that allows them to put the impact they want on it. In other words, she curls the ball in a way that doesn’t make it complicated for her teammates to deal with.
On the contrary, her crosses are usually easy to deal with. The next picture shows Lawrence running on the right wing before serving her teammate with a very accurate cross that surpasses the player’s direct marker and reaches her teammate without problems, allowing her to score a header. Moreover, Lawrence is the type of player who thinks prior to making their passing decision and doesn’t automatically aim for crosses. She analyses the situation first, even if she is being marked, and then she decides if it would be better to provide a through pass, a cross or something else. And this is very important because there are numerous full-backs who decide to cross as soon as they reach the final third, no matter how many teammates are in the box and without analysing if these teammates are marked or not.
Most fitting teams
Knowing that Lawrence is very probably leaving PSG at the end of this season following her contract expiry, Manchester United seems like one of the most realistic destinations for her, especially because Ona Batlle is also about to leave the Red Devils at the end of the season. Therefore, Lawrence would most probably guarantee regular playing time at Manchester United in this case and would benefit from a new experience in the WSL, knowing that she is able to excel at Manchester United as she has all that is needed to provide a big addition.
Moreover, she was linked to Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich and these options are all possible for Lawrence. Yet, she will have to think deeply before making a move to one of these teams because it is not guaranteed that she would play regularly for Chelsea for instance since she will have to play better than Maren Mjelde in order to win some regular playing time. The same thing applies to Barcelona because it would not be simple to play better than Marta Torrejón.
However, Bayern Munich would be a good fit for Lawrence since she has the ability to perform better than Tuva Hansen, knowing that she has more experience and talent than Hansen. Also, a move to NWSL is possible too and San Diego is said to be one of the candidates to get Lawrence. In fact, she can surely succeed in the NWSL even if she joins another NWSL team because she is accustomed to the NWSL and to their playing style and this would reduce her adaptation time.
Possible RB replacements at PSG
In terms of possible replacements for Lawrence for PSG, the following list includes the players that resemble the most to Lawrence in terms of attributes and characteristics. A lot of opportunities are available for PSG to replace Lawrence and perhaps the most notable opportunity is Ona Batlle. PSG can offer an interesting deal to Batlle by guaranteeing regular time since they will be needing her a lot in the upcoming period. Also, it would not be too complicated to convince her because she will be free in the summer and it would make a lot of sense to join PSG.
Nevertheless, if this opportunity fails, relying on Li Mengwen would be a possible option but it probably won’t be sufficient since the team will be playing in the UWCL in addition to Division 1 Féminine and the Cup.
Sabrina Enciso from Liga MX or Lucía María Rodríguez would represent some solid possible options as well, especially when considering that Rodríguez is 23 years old at the moment. Ria Öling from Damallsvenskan is also a good fit for PSG despite her age and would be an efficient right-back for PSG. Another very good player who can succeed at PSG is Inter Milan’s Anja Sønstevold, knowing that she has had a very good impact in Serie A Women.
Ashley Lawrence is one of the best RBs at the moment and she has proved her worth as an LB as well, therefore, she can succeed at any other team, as this analysis has shown. However, she must think a lot before making the decision about her next team in order to guarantee regular time and continue performing at her best.