The lowdown: Lascelles’ captaincy under threat?
The 28-year-old defender was handed the armband by then-manager Rafa Benitez for the 2016/17 campaign and has amassed 214 outings for the Magpies to date.
However, the former England youth international fell down the pecking order last season following the arrival of Dan Burn, and despite assurances from Eddie Howe, he now faces an uncertain future in his role as skipper according to one pundit…
The latest: Agbonlahor makes Newcastle plea
Speaking to Football Insider, former Aston Villa striker Agbonlahor suggested that Howe may still need to name a new captain for Newcastle ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, even if it is alongside rather than instead of Lascelles.
The regular talkSPORT contributor said: “You can have a captain who is the club captain. If he does that role well then there is no harm in keeping him.
“But if they know he is not going to play every game they will have to find another captain for the pitch. They’ve got options there and he’s probably fourth-choice. He definitely needs to name two captains.”
The verdict: Tough call
Although Lascelles’ form may not warrant a place in Howe’s strongest XI going into the new season, ranking as their 15th-best performer from WhoScored last term, replacing the towering defender as a leadership presence would undoubtedly be a major alteration in the Toon ranks, and clearly one that the manager is keen to avoid.
Last season, the former England under-21 ace made 27 appearances across all competitions for the Tynesiders but he was an unused substitute for three consecutive Premier League matches in April, leading to questions as to whether there was a future at Newcastle for the defender.
Previously linked in a report from The Athletic with a return to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, there appears to be no progression when it comes to a potential move away. However, with Newcastle having further bolstered the defensive department with the capture of Sven Botman, Lascelles could struggle to regain a place in Howe’s plans any time soon.
Still under contract until 2024 (Transfermarkt), whether or not the £9m-valued warrior – who earns £40,000 per week – is willing to remain a bit-part player whilst influencing the dressing room, potentially under a fresh on-field captaincy selection, remains to be seen and could make for intriguing viewing.
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