Ever since Rafa Benitez arrived on Tyneside on Friday match 11th, 2016 he picked out Jamaal Lascelles as a player with great prospects and very good leadership skills.
Under Steve McClaren, Jamaal hadn’t had many opportunities and he was a substitute getting a game now and then.
That all changed when Rafa came in and two years later Jamaal is the Newcastle captain and much improved as a footballer and as a leader – thanks to the manager.
Rafa Benitez and Jamaal Lascelles – have an excellent working relationship
Jamaal doesn’t exactly beat about the bush when he praises Rafa for all he’s done for him over a short two years.
This is Jamaal in an interview with the Chronicle today:
“I can’t thank Rafa enough for how much I’ve improved, not only as a player but as a captain.”
“I think I’ve come on leaps and bounds in that aspect, how to deal with things differently.”
“He pulls me aside and says you can’t always be this way, you’ve got to adapt to different people’s personalities: he’s worked with Steven Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo and John Terry.”
“There has been a lot of talk and rumors (about clubs wanting Jamaal this summer), I don’t buy into any of it.” “I concentrate on my football.”
“I am really happy. I am tied down to 2023 with my contract and as far as I am concerned I love playing for Newcastle.”
“I just want to keep this club climbing as high as we can.”
“This was my first season in the Premier League, it was about surviving and we have done that.”
“On a personal level I think I have coped quite well with world-class players.
“Everyone has had to adapt their game, I have come on quite a lot as a player and captain. I have learned a lot.”
“I am more intelligent on the pitch than I was last season.”
Both Chelsea and Everton are said to want the center-back in the summer but Rafa has already said he is not for sale.
Good thinking Rafa.
Both Rafa and his captain epitomize what the future can hold for Newcastle United FC.
What do you think?