You have to be a decent player to be given the captain’s armband at your club at the age of just 22, let alone a club as big as Newcastle United, and this is precisely what Jamaal Lascelles was given at the start of the 2016/17 season.
Entrusted by fans favourite Rafa Benitez, the Englishman described the feeling as unbelievable as he was told to lead his side through the campaign. He admitted that it was a lot of responsibility to put on the shoulders of a young man but swore to give his all, as per the Tyneside club’s website.
Indeed, the central defender made 47 appearances in that season, and lead them to promotion from the Championship. Speaking to BBC Sport later in 2017, Magpies legend and of course former captain Alan Shearer explained why he thought Lascelles was the ideal man to take on such a role at NUFC, big plaudits from arguably the biggest name in the club’s history.
Lascelles joined from Nottingham Forest back in 2014 for a mere £4.5 million, but did not make his first Toon appearance until the following season. He had a market value of £3.6 million in 2015, but that dropped to £2.7 million in February of the following year. Perhaps this was due to Newcastle’s poor form overall as they were eventually relegated that campaign.
However, his value started to rise from then. As the centre-back was made captain, perhaps this affected his performances in a positive light as his value rose up to £13.5 million by 2018. He played 35 times in all competitions in the 2017/18 term.
Off the back of these displays, there were some calls for Lascelles to make the England international squad, to which he is still yet to earn a cap for the senior side. Shearer was one to express his surprise as one of the squads was announced.
Lascelles’ value peaked to £16.2 million by the start of this campaign, but has since dropped to £13.05 million as other player’s values have due to current financial difficulties.
Nevertheless, it stands at nearly three times more than what the Toon paid for him, his arrival looks to be an inspired piece of business.
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