According to reports, Everton are interested in signing Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles in the summer.
Everton have appointed Marco Silva as their new boss to change the club’s fortunes after an underwhelming 2017/18 campaign. While Silva’s predecessor Sam Allardyce guided the club to an 8th-place finish, the fans were particularly displeased with the dull and uninspiring style of play under the 63-year-old tactician.
Silva’s teams are known to play an attractive and entertaining brand of football. And now he has the task of making Everton challenge for the top-6 again by retaining the style of play he is recognised for.
To push for a higher finish next season, Silva clearly needs reinforcements and the Portuguese reportedly wants Newcastle’s Lascelles to bolster his defence. The Toffees leaked 58 goals in the league last season, which speaks volumes about the poor quality of the defence Silva has inherited from Allardyce.
Michael Keane arrived at Everton amidst a lot of fanfare from Burnley, but the defender endured a difficult first season at Goodison Park. Keane blew hot and cold as he struggled to make his mark on Merseyside.
As a result, Allardyce was left with no options but to often pair Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams – two old horses – in central defence. Both Jagielka and Williams are coming to the end of their respective careers and finding a reliable partner for Keane is the need of the hour for Everton.
On the other hand, Lascelles had a brilliant season as the Magpies finished 10th in the table. Rafael Benitez named Lascelles as the club captain and the defender repaid the Newcastle boss’ faith by putting in stellar displays on a regular basis.
He marshalled his teammates magnificently and led the team by example. Under Benitez, the 24-year-old has developed rapidly, transforming from a shaky, raw talent to an imposing young centre-back.
Lascelles was a rock at the back for Newcastle last season, dishing out impressive performances for the club consistently. He is strong, physical, athletic, and knows how to use his strengths to good effect. As the season progressed, Lascelles imposed himself more and more on the defence, with his ability to read the game being second to none.
Despite his tender age, Lascelles has worn the armband at Newcastle and carried it well. In the last couple of years, the 24-year-old has improved massively and looked at ease in front of one of the most demanding fan bases in English football.
In fact, Lascelles was unlucky to miss out on the England squad for the World Cup as Gareth Southgate showed he has other plans.
Since joining Newcastle in 2014, Lascelles has come a long way, thanks largely to Benitez’s coaching and guidance. Lascelles, the beating heart of Newcastle, has already shown what he is capable of doing at such a young age.
As far as Everton are concerned, Silva should make the signing of Lascelles a priority. He is young, talented, improving, hungry, and will be the ideal long-term partner for Keane at Goodison Park.