After all the doom and gloom of the season so far, it is refreshing to finally wake up to some good news. Jamaal Lascelles has signed a six year extension, a fantastic show of commitment considering Newcastle’s position in the league at the moment.
Not only is it positive news that the captain has committed himself to the club, you would have to say that this is the biggest sign yet that manager, Rafael Benitez will follow suit. Lascelles loves Newcastle United and the city itself, the skipper has started a family on Tyneside, however, he would have wanted assurances on Benitez’s future before signing the extension.
Benitez and Lascelles have a close relationship, the Newcastle manager has shown so much faith in the former Nottingham Forest defender. Benitez handed the captains armband to Lascelles and the skipper hasn’t looked back since. The Newcastle captain has improved massively under the guidance of Benitez.
Lascelles has proved to be a true leader in the Newcastle dressing room, something that is desperately needed at the moment. Newcastle are still without a win this season, Lascelles’ leadership skills are needed now more than ever. This has been the toughest spell of both Lascelles’ and Benitez’s Newcastle careers. The commitment shows from Lascelles will not have come out of the blue, it is no secret that Lascelles and Benitez talk a lot about the future of the club. The captain also has dialogue with Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley. There is no doubt that Lascelles would have discussed the manager’s future before committing himself to the club.
This news is the biggest sign that Benitez will also ink a contract extension. There has been an awful lot of speculation regarding the former Real Madrid manager’s future, as Benitez seeks assurances on his transfer budget for January and also the improvement of the training facilities and academy.
Benitez believes Lascelles is the future of the club, the Spaniard is desperate to hang on to his prized assets. Mike Ashley’s reemergence on Tyneside certainly means something. The owner had previously been non-existent, not attending a game for around 18 months. This season, he has been in the stands since his appearance at Selhurst Park. Mike Ashley is taking a more hands on approach, whether that leads to him finally selling the club remains to be seen. Ashley wants to keep Benitez at the club, it is down to the owner to give Benitez what he wants. Lascelles’ contract extension is a step in the right direction.
Lets hope the positive news continues, with three points at the weekend.