Newcastle United

Newcastle lynchpin’s World Cup dream could be on following recent reports

Newcastle United supporters have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern in the last couple of days after seeing their team lose for a third straight time after going down 2-1 at Watford on Saturday.

Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with the Hertfordshire-based outfit off the back of losses at the hands of West Brom and Everton in their preceding league games, results which brought to an end their four-match winning streak. And the Magpies were unable to return to winning ways on Saturday as well as goals from Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray in the first half were enough for Javi Gracia’s side, as although Ayoze Perez got one back for Newcastle in the second period, it didn’t inspire a comeback from the visitors.

As such, there have been many despondent Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their team can get back to winning ways against Champions League-chasing Tottenham on Wednesday.

In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that Liverpool’s Joe Gomez looks set to miss the World Cup after undergoing ankle surgery.

And while this is sure to come as a blow to the player himself, as well as Liverpool and England fans, Gomez’s injury setback could mean that Jamaal Lascelles’ own World Cup hopes could very much be on.

Ultimately, the 24-year-old has enjoyed a magnificent season in the heart of Benitez’s backline, having appeared in 31 of their 36 Premier League games this term, missing the other five only as a result of injury.

And with several key contributions in both boxes, the defensive lynchpin has without doubt played a vital role in helping keep the Magpies in the Premier League this season, to the point that many have been calling for him to get an England call-up over the course of the campaign.

However, one was not forthcoming for Lascelles and it looked as though his World Cup hopes were over when he failed to make Gareth Southgate’s most recent squad in March, yet the door may well have been opened by Gomez’s recent injury troubles.

Southgate appears to want to play a back three in Russia this summer and as such demands centre backs with ability on the ball but also defensive capabilities, with it likely that John Stones and Harry Maguire will fulfil two of those roles.

However, Gomez was probably in pole position for the other spot, but with concerns surrounding Phil Jones and Gary Cahill this season, it’s a place that now appears to be very much up for grabs, what with Alfie Mawson and James Tarkowski earning call ups last time round.

Yet Lascelles has certainly enjoyed as good if not better seasons than that duo, and indeed appears to be in better form than messrs Jones and Cahill as well, which should make him a serious contender for a spot in the 23-man squad should he finish the season strongly.

Thus, Gomez’s recent injury struggles may well have opened the door for Lascelles to indeed make the World Cup this summer – his dreams of representing his country this summer could well be on after all.

Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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