Jamaal Lascelles is a popular figure amongst the Newcastle United fans here in the Transfer Tavern.
Indeed, the Toon skipper has come to his side’s rescue twice in the last two weeks by notching winners over Swansea and Stoke City, thoroughly impressing our resident Geordies along the way.
Which is why his recent interview in the Daily Telegraph has proven oh so interesting. The 23-year-old is thought to have entered the thoughts of England manager Gareth Southgate following his good run of form under Rafa Benitez.
Speaking about his relationship with the Spaniard, the former Nottingham Forest defender has opened up about what it’s like to work with a man who has coached some of the biggest clubs in world football.
Having been appointed captain by the former Liverpool and Real Madrid coach at the age of just 22, Lascelles has revealed what life is really like under the 57-year-old, who many cite as Newcastle’s best manager since the Bobby Robson era.
”I aim to be a much better player in 12 months’ time, that is something the manager has spoken to me about. Since he arrived, I’ve definitely improved as a player and a person, but also as a captain.”
“I’ve learnt how to speak to players, how everyone is different, how they take criticism, those players that need a pat on the back.
“We’ve got a really good relationship. He’s a really good manager, but he’s a cool person to have around the place. His door is always open and he’s always making sure things are done the right way.”
Lascelles is by no means perfect, but the type of leader Newcastle (and potentially England) need. Under Benitez, he should see the defensive side of his game continue to improve and the sky really is his limit.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience