Newly-promoted Fulham will reportedly look to secure the services of Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles in the summer transfer window.
According to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles could be sold this summer, with newly-promoted side Fulham touted as a potential destination for the Premier League veteran.
Nottingham Forest have also been mentioned as a possible suitor, with The Athletic reporting that they are considering re-signing their former academy graduate. Both the newly-promoted clubs are trying to sign experienced players who can come in and perform in the Premier League as they look to prolong their stay in the top flight.
Lascelles certainly fits that criteria perfectly. He has just finished his seventh season at Newcastle and has established himself as a Premier League-level defender, making 152 appearances in the top flight since joining from Forest in 2015.
The 28-year-old has been a great asset for the Toon, serving as club captain since Rafael Benitez handed him the armband in 2016. He led the team through a difficult era with the club battling for survival every season due to the lack of investment from previous owner Mike Ashley, and he was particularly impressive in his first few years at the club.
However, some major injuries and poor coaching in the previous regime resulted in a significant drop in form, hampering his progression in the process. Lascelles has fallen down the pecking order at Newcastle following the January arrival of Dan Burn at St James’ Park.
Lascelles did deliver some strong displays towards the tail-end of last season, but with Newcastle linked with new centre-backs, it could limit the club captain’s chances of playing even further.
After spending about £90 million in January, the mega-rich Magpies are planning another expensive shopping binge this summer. However, they are aware that they must sell in order to balance the books and stay compliant with the Financial Fair Play rules. And Lascelles could be one of many to be sacrificed this summer.
Lascelles is contracted at St James’ Park until the summer of 2024 and is in decent demand in the market, so Newcastle might view him as a sellable asset to bolster their transfer fund while also making way for future signings.
Fulham, for one, have been credited with an interest in the 28-year-old defensive powerhouse. The Cottagers do appear to be light at the back. Tosin Adarabioyo is a key player, but Terence Kongolo and Tim Ream are not exactly inspiring names to rely on ahead of a Premier League season.
Signing a player like Lascelles increases their chances of escaping relegation. The Englishman is an old-fashioned, combative, no-nonsense centre-back who excels at winning headers and making last-ditch tackles and blocks.
Lascelles may not be the greatest with the ball at his feet, but he is a vocal presence at the back, which helps to lead and maintain an efficient defensive line. That said, there is also a good chance that Newcastle retain their captain to provide cover for another season. Only time will tell whether Lascelles will switch allegiances in search of regular football or remain a bit-part player at St James’ Park.