Rafa Benitez has again praised the attitude and application of young center-back Jamaal Lascelles.
Jamaal has become a permanent fixture in the Newcastle defense under Rafa and the 22 year-old England U21 International has turned in a number of solid and impressive performances for the team, although he is still learning and improving.
But he already seems a big favorite of the Newcastle manager, because of his eagerness to listen and learn from what Rafa tells him.
Jamaal Lascelles after scoring against Swansea
We also know that young Lascelles has shown leadership both on and off the filed lately when it has been required, in what has looked like a leaderless Newcastle side for far too long.
He called out more senior Newcastle players at half time and at full time at Southampton for their lack of application and effort in that game.
Rafa was asked if he was pleased with young Jamaal:
“Really pleased,” “From watching from outside you can see a young center-back who normally needs to improve and make mistakes.”
“But the reaction when he makes mistakes when we are training, he is always listening to you and tries to understand.”
“He is doing really well and he will be a really good center-back for the future because he is doing really well now and he is learning.”
“He is so young for a center-back; 22 is young for a center-back.” “He still has 10 years to play at the maximum level.”
“I can see someone who is very professional, who is keen to learn, and for a center-back he has a great future.”
Those are great words from Rafa about the youngster who has impressed Newcastle fans whenever he has played in the first team.
He has 18 appearances and two goals for Newcastle so far and yes – he is young to be playing in such an important position in central defense.
This is his first season on Tyneside although he was signed in the summer of 2014 from Nottingham Forest,along with goalkeeper Karl Darlow, but they were both on loan at Forest last season.
It´s interesting that both of them are having an impact at Newcastle in these vital few games of the season and that´s great to see.
They both look like good acquisitions for the club.
We could have a future England International on the books and Jamaal Lascelles will certainly improve because of the excellent attitude he has and with the great Rafa Benitez as his new manager.
Sounds good to us.