21 year-old center-back Jamaal Lascelles has talked to the Chronicle today and it will be a key season for the England U21 International, as he finally is in the first team squad at a club he signed for almost a year ago.
Jamaal has talked about the weird feeling he had when he and team-mate Karl Darlow signed on at Newcastle, but were then left at Nottingham Forest on loan for all of last season.
Jamaal Lascelles in action at Gateshead
But he’s in Newcastle now and he looked good in that first half at Gateshead on Friday evening ion the 1-0 win.
This is what he has said today:
“The minute we walked in, Steve McClaren got us in and we had a meeting. He told us how he wanted to play.”
“He wants to get the ball popping around and hopefully we can carry that on into the season because that’s what he wants. He has high expectations and high demands.”
“With the players we’ve got, there is no reason why we can’t do what he asks.” “When I signed I got loaned straight back and that was kind of weird.”
“It didn’t really feel like I was a proper Newcastle player at the time. Now I am pleased to be here.” “And I’m pleased to be training with the boys and like I said I was buzzing to pull the shirt on.”
“It was more like a training game but you have to take it as a proper match. The boys were excellent, they moved the ball really well and we got a lot of fitness out of it too. That will help us in America.”
“It’s always been a dream to play to play in the Premier League and putting on a Newcastle top for the first team in a game was fantastic for me. I went to a few games last season and the fans showed great support.”
“Even at a smaller ground they still filled what they could so I was really pleased with that.” “I’m really looking forward to it. I am trying to get as much game time as I can.
“Training is so much different to match time fitness. It was only 45 minutes at Gateshead but hopefully I will get some minutes out there to add to it. The boys are looking to do well.”
Lascelles is just one of the five center-backs we have at the moment, with at least one top center-back likely to be signed this summer.
Lascelles will be fighting it out with Fab Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson and Curtis Good, and once we get our new players in we could see two of those leave the club before September.
But Lascelles is one for the future at Newcastle, and he has a great chance in pre-season to show the great potential he has as a future Newcastle center-back.
He’s stands 6 ft 3ins tall and is a really powerfully built player – like a tank – and he’s an impressive young man.