Newcastle United supporters have been pretty disappointed in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team go down 1-0 at Tottenham on Wednesday night to suffer a fourth successive Premier League defeat.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the North Londoners off the back of losses at the hands of Everton, West Brom, and Watford, thus proving to be a far cry away from the Magpies side that won four games on the spin between March and April to preserve their top-flight status. And they couldn’t get back to winning ways on Wednesday either as a Harry Kane strike in the second half was enough to clinch all three points for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, in turn securing a top four finish this season.
Subsequently, there have been many despondent Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their side can finish a successful season with victory over Chelsea in their final match on Sunday.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking defender Jamaal Lascelles with a move to Everton this summer.
And were the North East heavyweights to indeed sanction the 24-year-old’s departure this summer, it could pave the way for another high-profile exit during the close season, namely that of manager Benitez.
Ultimately, Lascelles has enjoyed a magnificent season in the heart of the Newcastle backline, appearing in 32 of their 37 Premier League games this term, missing the other five only as a result of injury.
And with several commanding and authoritative displays at the back, alongside coming up with crucial goals at the other end, there’s little doubt that his performances have played a key part in keeping Benitez’s side in the top-flight this term.
And if the Magpies are seeking to move to the next level under the Spaniard in the coming seasons, they simply have to retain their best players to allow Benitez to build the squad he wants – Lascelles is one of those.
As such, were they to indeed let the 24-year-old leave, it would be the clearest indication that the club’s hierarchy do not match Benitez’s ambitions for the future, and were that to happen, the former Chelsea chief could well seek to leave the club in the summer.
Ultimately, Benitez’s hands have been tied throughout his time in charge of the North East outfit, which is why he deserves immense credit for leading the side to the relative safety of mid-table this term.
But we are talking about a manager who has challenged for league titles and won big trophies in his career to date, and with the infrastructure and fanbase Newcastle have, there’s no reason why he can’t seek to do that at St James’ Park as well.
But he needs the financial backing and the club’s hierarchy to buy into his ambitions – selling Lascelles wouldn’t even come close to those ambitions he has for the club. Is a board, who sells one’s best players, really then going to give Benitez the cash needed to revamp the squad? Probably not.
It’s not just a case of bringing players in this summer to take Newcastle forward, it’s also about retaining their most prized assets – Lascelles is one of those.
Thus, selling him would not only see the club lose an influential star, but it could also pave the way for Benitez’s exit.
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