Speaking exclusively to Football Insider surrounding Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles, ex-Sunderland forward Darren Bent has lambasted the defender and claims he ‘needs to have a look at himself‘.
Lascelles, who has started most Newcastle matches this season excluding the knee injury which ruled him out between November and January, was captained by former boss Rafael Benitez during his first full season in charge – with BBC pundit Garth Crooks also hailing his ‘brilliant‘ leadership back in October. However, according to Bent, Lascelles needs to ask why he is not in the England international call-up conversation given the fact he captains Newcastle and seems to be a crucial figure at the back. Compared to fellow defensive favourites Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez, in the games he has played this season, Lascelles has made more interceptions than the latter man (1.2) on average while eclipsing Schar’s clearances per game record (5.2), as per WhoScored.com.
However, Schar and Fernandez both best Lascelles’ fairly poor tackles per game ratio (0.5), perhaps hinting that there does need to be signs of improvement in his overall form. Speaking to Football Insider, Bent has highlighted that he needs to be in the conversation for an England call-up considering his position on Tyneside, whilst claiming he is a ‘funny one‘.
“He’s a funny one Lascelles. For someone who’s been captain of Newcastle for a long time now, you think to yourself he’s captain at a big club like Newcastle, he needs to have a look at what’s going on,” explained the pundit.
“With that physical frame, he should have been at least capped once for England or been spoke about. The fact that he’s not, he needs to have a look at himself, this is too frequent with him.
“For someone of that physical prowess and that big, powerful presence, to be captain of Newcastle United Football Club, for him to not even be in that conversation, he maybe needs to go something’s not quite right here.”
Indeed, despite Lascelles’ absence due to injury, with Euro 2020 on the horizon, it appears the Englishman needs to do more if he wants to earn Gareth Southgate’s favour in time for next summer.
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