It was back on August 9th in 2014 that Newcastle announced the signings of Nottingham Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles and goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
The fee was undisclosed, but thought to be around £7M for the two players.
They were sent back to Nottingham Forest for the next season on loan and eventually joined the Newcastle first team squad in pre-season training last year.
Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow back in August 2014
Both had little playing time in the first part of last season, although when Rafa came in he saw the potential of Jamaal almost immediately and started to play him in the first team and the youngster put in some solid performances for us.
And then the impressive Rob Elliot picked up a serious ACL injury in late March playing for the Republic of Ireland and in came Karl for the last 8 games of the season.
Both players played very well for us and Rafa even appointed Jamaal as the new (and very young) Newcastle captain in the summer.
He was chosen because he had shown real leadership skills in the heat of battle at Southampton, when more experienced players didn’t want to know.
He was the one interviewed after the game, when others weren’t willing to face the cameras and he called out players who weren’t fighting for the shirt – a classic interview of blood and guts if ever there was one.
If we fast forward to this season, Jamaal plays in every game after a rocky first few games and Karl Darlow has come into the side since the Villa game and we have 8 straight league wins since then.
Jamaal is the target of Premier League leaders Chelsea in January, according to reports – and they are said to be willing to pay £18M for him.
Both players have great characters and temperaments and seem to be thriving at Newcastle under the coaching of Rafa Benitez.
So for £7M these two lads have proved themselves to be great acquisitions for Newcastle and maybe haven’t received the recognition they deserve for their significant progress and improvement on Tyneside.
This all augers well for the future of Newcastle United.
What do you think?