Why West Ham must up their bid to land Newcastle star Jamaal Lascelles
The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Newcastle this summer after impressing in the Premier League last season. He made 33 appearances in the previous campaign, scoring three times.
New West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has shown urgency in turning around the club’s fortunes ahead of the new term. The Hammers have already secured deals for midfielder Jack Wilshere, centre-back Issa Diop, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, full-back Ryan Fredericks and most recently, Andriy Yarmolenko.
Now, Pellegrini has turned his attention towards defender Jamaal Lascelles, presumably to partner new recruit Issa Diop. And the idea to bring Lascelles is a step in the right direction after the club’s shambolic defensive displays.
Newcastle signed Lascelles for around £5m from Nottingham Forest in 2014 but he has grown leaps and bounds in the last couple of seasons under Rafael Benitez. In fact, he has been one of Newcastle’s most consistent performers since Benitez took over in January 2016, and was made club captain following the departure of Fabrizio Coloccini.
In the last term, Lascelles impressed massively for the Magpies as he led his team from the front. The Newcastle skipper delivered some eye-catching performances with his mobility and strength. The 24-year-old has proven his mettle with some commanding displays and he could be the answer to West Ham’s woes.
Lascelles will provide a strong measure of leadership, filling a void at the heart of the Hammers’ defence. He would arrive at the London stadium with a great deal of experience and defensive know-how, ready to use his skills to improve the club’s backline.
Other than being a no-nonsense defender, Lascelles is also comfortable playing out from the back, a quality that should tempt Pellegrini to make an audacious bid. The Newcastle skipper’s addition would also help Pellegrini play a three-man defence with the likes of Diop and the promising Irishman Declan Rice. Lascelles’s addition, however, would relegate Angelo Ogbonna to the substitutes’ bench.
Newcastle are desperate to keep a hold of their skipper but West Ham must test the Tyneside club’s water with an improved bid. If Lascelles can make a huge impact for a sinking ship like Newcastle, there is no limit as to what he can achieve at West Ham under Pellegrini.