Sunderland linked with Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel - but why did he leave Arsenal?

The Black Cats have been linked with a deal for Nottingham Forest’s Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel – but who is the full-back?

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 3:00 pm

The club have announced contract extensions for Aiden McGeady and Luke O’Nien as well as several signings for their youth team.

Those deals were strengthened by the arrival of Alex Pritchard, Callum Doyle and Corry Evans

But what do we know about Sunderland’s latest transfer target Lawrence-Gabriel? Here, we take a look:

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel.

Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel – fact file

Position: Right back

Age: 22-years-old

Club: Nottingham Forest

Born: London

Nationality: English

So what is the story with Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel and Sunderland?

Sunderland have made an approach for Nottingham Forest’s Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel – according to reports.

The 22-year-old defender is back at the City Ground having impressed on loan at Blackpool last season.

However, Sunderland have reportedly made an approach for Lawrence-Gabriel as Lee Johnson looks to bolster his right-back options.

What experience does Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel have?

Lawrence-Gabriel doesn't have a great deal of experience given his young age.

However, the full-back did enjoy a fruitful spell on loan at Blackpool last season alongside Sunderland loanee Elliot Embleton.

The pair helped the Tangerines towards a late push into the play-offs, where they eventually gained promotion following wins against Oxford United and then Lincoln City at Wembley.

Lawrence-Gabriel made 35 appearances in all competitions for Blackpool last campaign.

In terms of his youth career, Gabriel-Lawrence joined Nottingham Forest’s academy from Southend United back in February 2015 having also spent time with Premier League giants Arsenal

The defender also played for Scunthorpe on loan during the 2019-20 campaign but only made nine appearances.

In 2020, however, Nottingham Forest recognised the player’s talent with a new contract, handing the young starlet a four-year deal.

Why didn’t it work out for Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel at Arsenal?

The player has previously stated that he ‘didn't want to be at Arsenal because of the atmosphere’ and claimed that he was ‘picked on’ during his time at Emirates Stadium.

Speaking about the experience to The Mirror, he said: “We were all Arsenal fans in my family. My dream had always been to play for Arsenal and to play at the Emirates, which I eventually did in the U14s.

“The ability our team had was frightening. When you went away for tournaments you went with your year group. I remember in 2006-2007 we went to Dirinon and won the tournament in France.

“But talent only gets you so far. If you have staff who want to push players through, that helps. Not everyone had that. Coaches can have their favourites they are going to push, whether they have a bad attitude or not.

“So it is not always a nice atmosphere to be in. A lot of the time I didn't want to be there at Arsenal because of the atmosphere. Sometimes I didn't really want to go to training because you'd get picked on.

"The staff wouldn't really do anything about it. There was more chance of people being rewarded than punished. Coming through at a young age, you get a lot of knocks. Some people don't get up from that and they don't want to go through that.

“They put it aside and drop out of football because they lose belief."

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor