Newcastle United are growing concerned over captain Jamaal Lascelles’ future at the club. West Ham, who tried to bring him to London Stadium earlier in summer, have been long-term admirers of the centre-back. Apparently, a £25 million offer was placed on the table for Lascelles’ signature.
The player is likely to leave the Toons for a couple of other reasons too. Firstly, he questioned Rafa Benitez’s tactics to play with three centre-backs, a structure preferred over the usual 4-2-3-1 setup. Matters worsened when he got involved in a training ground bust-up with teammate Matt Ritchie.
Replying to Lascelles’ critical comments on the manager’s tactics, Ritchie said –
Just get on with it, even if you don’t like it, it’s the manager’s choice
According to the Daily Mail, both of them had to be separated by fellow players at Newcastle. The argument between the two was then carried onto the dressing room’s atmosphere.
When the matter came to the gaffer’s notice, he asked both players to shake hands and move on with their business. Now, the pair is expected to be good friends and maintain a civil relationship.
Lascelles sat out in the crucial game against Chelsea last weekend, which created a sense of confusion among everybody at St. James’ Park. Although Benitez confirmed it was an ankle injury, questions were raised regarding the connection between his absence and the fight.
The Magpies are winless in three games and sit on 16th place with just a point so far. Benitez and co. will definitely need their captain’s excellence against the champions.
Meanwhile, the Irons have started with three defeats in a row, with defensive frailties clearly visible. Hence, a move for Lascelles is expected to be on the cards for them in January.
The 24-year-old is a fan favourite and everybody at the club is desperate to hold on to him. Whether or not external influences will affect his decision on his future, is yet to be unearthed.