Why Newcastle must hold onto Jamaal Lascelles amidst West Ham interest
Newcastle United didn’t really get off to the best of starts in their Premier League campaign but certainly ended their season in style with a 3-0 win against Chelsea at St. James’ Park. The former Liverpool manager will now be aiming to return stronger and cement Newcastle United’s position as one of the mid-table teams.
But in order to do so, the Spanish coach is going to have to bring in new additions as well as hold onto his best players. With the high demands of the Premier League, one of the most crucial aspects of any team is to build progressively, rather than rebuild.
Reports suggest that Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles is a subject of interest for West Ham United. The Hammers are in the middle of an intense strengthening after the arrival of the much renowned Manuel Pellegrini. The manager will be aiming to take the Hammers back to the top after a disappointing campaign last time out.
Newcastle have reportedly rejected a bid of around £20million, rising to £25million. But West Ham could come right back in search of another deal. West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has already secured the signings of midfielder Jack Wilshere, centre-back Issa Diop, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, and full-back Ryan Fredericks. He seems to be getting everything he wants at the moment.
But Rafa Benitez should make it a point to hold onto his famed captain. Lascelles was a commander at the back for the Magpies last season. He made a total of 33 appearances in the league last season, scoring 3 goals in the process. He was an influential member of the Magpies backline that was tight and rigid. Newcastle conceded only 47 goals last season and that was largely due to the performances of Lascelles.
He is a tall, strong centre-back who is calm and composed on the ball. Lascelles has displayed all the qualities of a top-class centre-half and can certainly go on to become one of the fiercest defenders in the league.
The 24-year-old, who is also reportedly attracting heavy interest from Everton, returned back for pre-season training at Newcastle on Friday. Rafa Benitez should make it his personal mission to hold onto his captain and arguably their biggest voice in the squad.
Losing a captain is not the best way to start the season and it certainly isn’t any easier to replace one either. If Newcastle United are to establish themselves in the league and avoid the drop like they did three years ago, they have to hold onto their captain.