Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles made his 100th appearance for Newcastle against West Brom last week but unfortunately, we lost that game, and it broke a four-game winning streak at home.
Almost every one of those 100 appearances have come while Rafa Benitez has been the manager at the club and he hardly played when Steve McClaren was manager.
By the end of the relegation season Jamaal was a regular for Rafa, and in that summer he made him the Newcastle captain even though he was only 22 years old.
But Jamaal has character and leadership – two things Rafa was looking for in what could be Newcastle’s long-term captain.
Jamaal Lascelles – in action against West Brom
Rafa has congratulated Jamaal on the achievement and thinks he can become a better player as he gains more experience.
This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle:
“It is a great achievement for any young player.” “He is a great character and he is learning and improving.”
“So 100 games is a good number.” “Hopefully, he can be here for 500 games!” “And I hope he can improve every year.”
“At that time we needed to find somebody who could be close to the fans.”
“We needed someone to show some character and leadership.” “I think he’s delivered.”
“Yes, he is still a young captain but he’s still learning and doing really well.”
It does seem that Rafa has real trust in his captain to ensure things are done currently during games as well as in the training sessions.
Jamaal has been tipped for an England cap because of his exceptional play and leadership this season, and it seems that Chelsea will lodge a bid for him this summer.
We expect Rafa to turn down that bid and keep his captain on Tyneside.