Despite signing a new six-year deal earlier this season, Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles has had his name being mentioned by some of the top clubs in England. The 24-year-old has represented the Young Lions 12 times, and has really made his mark in the last couple of seasons since Rafa Benitez came in and took him from the reserves to the seniors squad.
His clutch performances on both ends of the pitch might yet determine the Magpies’ future come the end of the season. He had winning goals against Swansea City and Stoke City, and another in a draw against Burnley - without those seven points Newcastle would be in the relegation zone. And that doesn’t even take into consideration his key performances as a central defender and the captain of the side.
The local paper The Chronicle reports that despite signing a new deal, his wages remain a paltry sum for the top clubs - £35,000 per week would make him one of the lower paid players on the Everton squad. The outlet goes on to say that Arsenal have been keeping tabs on the player since he was a youngster while Chelsea have been sniffing around recently. Both Everton and cross-city rivals Liverpool have also been linked with the defender.
The Blues will need to take a long hard look at their defensive corps this summer as club captain Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams are both on the wrong end of their careers. Lascelles comes with the added bonus of being an English player, but that usually means Newcastle can command an additional £10 million or more to his transfer fees. But if the Toon don’t survive and drop into the Championship, then the quiet murmurs around the player will turn into a dull roar.
If by any chance Gareth Southgate, who gave him his England Under-21 international debut, picks him for the World Cup this summer, then that will be another £10 million on top of whatever that amount will be.
Lascelles has already shown plenty of promise to be a star centre half in the Premier League, with his 6’2” powerful frame already proving to be dominant in the air. He had two goals in Newcastle’s 2015-16 Premier League season when they were relegated, before leading his side to promotion last season.
The radar above is from the Championship, but clearly shows the defender is well on his way. He’s an old-school defender whose first priority is to make the tackle and clear the ball from danger, but also has the ability to find an incisive long pass when given the opportunity. Expect there to be a lot of attention on him in the coming months.