Jamaal Lascelles: The Rise of a Leader

When Jamaal Lascelles gave an honest and passionate interview, after Newcastle United had lost 3-1 to Southampton last season, the youngster showed fans that there were players within the squad that did care.

The now Newcastle captain, hasn’t looked back since that day. He is now Rafael Benitez’s right hand man, a loud voice in the dressing room and on the pitch. At 23, the young defender still has aspects of his game that are improving. The post match interview against Southampton announced Lascelles as a leader.

After Newcastle were relegated last season, departures were inevitable. Newcastle got rid of the players who clearly lacked fight and a care for the club, they were replaced by players that Rafael Benitez knew had the right attitude to get the club promoted. Hungry, young players mixed in with experience. Lascelles was named captain of the club last summer, his rise has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Over a year on from Newcastle’s loss against Southampton, the magpies have been promoted back to the Premier League and could still win the title on Sunday. Lascelles has been a key part of Newcastle’s success, the youngster still has his critics but they must remember he is still young. For a young player to take the captaincy on with such confidence and pride, is a real credit to Lascelles’ character. Every game he plays, you can hear him barking out orders, a stark contrast to former captain Fabricio Coloccini. Lascelles has made 47 appearances in all competitions for the club this season. Helping his side at both ends of the pitch, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist.

Reports have surfaced that Lascelles has been playing through the pain barrier for four months, with a hernia problem. The youngster will undergo a double hernia operation today. The fact that Lascelles has been playing through the pain for this amount of time, shows his dedication to Newcastle United. The club have been crying out for players with such heart for a long time.

The youngster is constantly improving under the watchful eye of Rafael Benitez. If the Englishman’s rapid rise continues, a call up to the national side will surely follow. The player always keeps a level head and will focus on nothing but Newcastle United in the meantime.

I wish Jamaal a very speedy recovery, and to come back stronger than ever for pre-season.

Comments welcome.

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