He’s banging them in for fun at Somerset Park now, but it hasn’t always been this easy for Ayr United striker Lawrence Shankland.
The Honest Men striker has scored 18 goals in 18 league appearances so far this term, which is a truly remarkable turnover. He’s now being linked with a move down south, but it seems as though the forward is enjoying his time at Ayr.
Whilst goals are coming naturally to him now, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Shankland.
Before moving to Ayr, the frontman was all but forgotten about after a few loans spells from Aberdeen. Now he’s back in the spotlight, proving all those who doubted him wrong.
Shankland is a rags to riches success story
The striker was a youngster at Aberdeen, after moving on from Queens Park, who he started his career with. Shankland rarely featured for the Dons, playing 17 games with zero goals over four years between 2013-2017. It seemed like Shankland had lost his chance at a top-flight club.
Loan spells to various clubs including Dunfermline, St Mirren and Morton had varied success. A healthy seven goals in 13 games at the Pars seemed to spark hope for the young forward. 10 goals over two loans spells at St Mirren, however, did little to help his cause.
A six month loan spell to Morton saw Shankland perform well, but he only scored four times in 16 games. When Ayr came calling in the summer in 2017, it would most likely be the strikers last chance at a full time club. It was vital for him to hit the ground running. Shankland started like a house on fire.
He scored 29 goals last season, leading the Honest Men’s promotion push to the Championship and winning the league’s player of the season. He looks on course to smash that amount this season, as he leads the Championship scoring charts, with Ayr pushing for the league title.
Shankland is enjoying the best period of his career, with 44 goals in 46 Ayr games. The forward is a bright example of what can be achieved if you really want to succeed in football.