Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham thinks Jamaal Lascelles has grown into his leadership role at the club.
The former defender played alongside our captain when the pair were at Nottingham Forest together back in 2012. He thinks that even then he could see our no.6’s desire to improve his game. He told Sky Sports News (quotes via thisisfutbol.com):
“He leads by example, he’s a strong physical player. [When I was with him at Nottingham Forest], the one thing that stood about him is that he wanted to learn.”
“He’s grown into that [leader] role at Newcastle and the fans absolutely love him.”
It was certainly a surprise when Rafa gave Jamaal the armband at the beginning of the 2016/17 season. The manager saw something in him that suggested he could be a leader on the pitch.
Despite still only being 24 years of age, Lascelles has more than justified the faith that was placed in him. He is one of our most consistent performers, having developed his game under Benitez’s tutelage.
We are far weaker defensively without him in the side. His ability to organise and command his defence is an integral part of our team, and hopefully, he’ll remain our captain for years to come.