According to reports, Newcastle United have crossed large grounds in their attempt to secure the future of young centre-half Jamaal Lascelles at the club by offering him a new contract just after his man of the match display against Swansea City last week. It was his goal that proved to be the winner of the game and now fans think that their skipper deserves a national call-up.
Despite handing him the arm band last season to lead the side and win the Championship, Rafael Benitez decided to go with Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark in their opening game against Tottenham Hotspur, and it didn’t go well.
With new signing Lejeune missing in the next game, Lascelles was given the charge alongside Clark again. And although it took him little time to adjust in the first game that ended in a 1-0 loss to Huddersfield Town, Lascelles was back to his best in the 3-0 win over West Ham United and now Swansea City.
It is understood that he had caught Gareth Southgate’s attention in the West Ham game itself before they went into the international break, and now the positive reports from Liberty Stadium will only strengthen his case. He is already capped from the Under-18 level to Under-21s and it was Southgate who handed him his last international appearance.
At 189cm, Lascelles has the perfect frame to cope in the English top-flight football. At 23, he still has a lot of time to learn and given the maturity and determination that he has shown from the back line, he is expected to reach the top level.
He still has three years left before his current contract expires, but the Mags are thinking way ahead and looking at his potential, an improved deal should be drawn now itself. Manager Benitez has seen Lascelles as a key figure to his success with the Tyneside. His influence in the dressing room is also admired by the boss and his tremendous presence also makes him a desirable option.
He has been linked with many top clubs last winter with Liverpool and Chelsea leading the charge. While Chelsea won’t need any immediate reinforcements following their summer buys, Liverpool are in dire need of one and could approach in the winter itself.
However, Lascelles still has a long way to go and inexperience could be a huge loophole for a defender. He has been seen mistiming his tackles at times and will need to iron those out before he takes the next step, until which Newcastle remain the perfect platform. So tying him up with a new deal will be a huge coup for Newcastle.