Tottenham are reportedly set to rival Chelsea in their pursuit of Jamaal Lascelles, who could be on his way out from Newcastle United.
According to Evening Standard, Chelsea are set to face competition in pursuit of Jamaal Lascelles. The Newcastle United captain has been tipped for a move to one of the big clubs. But, the Blues must now fend off competition from Tottenham in order to land their desired target.
Jamaal Lascelles has been one of the success stories of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign. Riddled with the task of keeping the Newcastle defence in check, the captain led from the front, showcasing his organisational skills along with his formidable defensive acumen.
That the centre-back also chipped in with important result-defining goals is something that contributed massively to Newcastle’s push for safety, with the Magpies ultimately finishing 10th – a credible result considering the restricted budget that Rafa Benitez was provided by Mike Ashley.
However, Lascelles’s performance has put a target on his back, with Chelsea one of the primary teams in pursuit of the Englishman. The Blues have an ageing unit in defence, with Gary Cahill and David Luiz both on the wrong side of 30. There are hints that Cesar Azpilicueta would be re-deployed in his natural role as a wide defender, should Chelsea scrap the three-man formation.
Chelsea view Lascelles in the same mould as their legend and former captain John Terry and according to the reports, have been desperate to land the defender, with the club also likely to need a new leader as they aim to phase out Gary Cahill from the starting eleven.
But, Tottenham’s entry into the frame could cause problems. For one, Spurs’ need for a new centre-back is public information, with Toby Alderweireld all but set to exit the club in the summer. Tottenham have been linked to Matthijs de Ligt, but are aware that they will have to pay a humongous sum in order to land the youngster.
To add to it, there is no telling how de Ligt will adapt to Premier League football or how long it will take before the Dutchman starts to produce the level of performances desired at a club like Tottenham.
Lascelles, on the other hand, will add some leadership in the defence while in the Newcastle United defender, they will be recruiting a player who has already shown signs that he can dominate the Premier League. And at 24, Lascelles will fit right in the youthful and ambitious Tottenham squad.
Tottenham also have the Champions League factor advantage over Chelsea. But, it could all come down to Rafa Benitez. The defender is reportedly an admirer of the manager’s tactical prowess and general style and should the Spanish manager be persuasive in his request, Lascelles could very well reject offers to stay at Newcastle United, be it from Chelsea, Tottenham or any other A-list club.