After a poor start to the season, Newcastle face an even tougher test today as they face Manchester City this afternoon.
It was a terrible summer for the club as Mike Ashley failed to build on a squad that astonishingly finished 10th last season. Instead, the much maligned owner bought a host of replacements for departing players rather than building on the squad.
At the back, Newcastle brought in Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar to bolster the defence and also cover the now injured Florian Lejeune.
Arguably the club’s best and most important player, Jamaal Lascelles had attracted interest from West Ham over the summer but Newcastle managed to keep the England under-21 international.
The defender missed the match against Chelsea last weekend but Rafael Benitez confirmed that Lascelles is fit, which is vital for Newcastle.
At only 24, the defender is the heart and soul of the club. He may not be the best with the ball at his feet but in terms of his ability to defend, he is by far the best player at Newcastle and one of the better players in the league.
Without the physical defender at the back, Newcastle’s chances this season would look pretty bleak.
Following his injury, West Ham’s summer bid, and rumours of a training ground bust up with Matt Ritchie, having Lascelles return today is a huge plus for the Toon faithful although, what happens in the future may not be.
How essential is Lascelles to your season Newcastle fans?