Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Lascelles lauds ‘smart’ Howe policy before assessing impact of Newcastle transfer rumours

Jamaal Lascelles after a Newcastle United match

Jamaal Lascelles wants to stay at Newcastle United “for as long as possible” after the captain explained his role – and that of Eddie Howe – in their process of growth.

Newcastle have big ambitions following their Saudi-backed takeover late last year. They already took the opportunity to bolster their squad with five signings in January. In time, some of their longer-serving players like Lascelles could face uncertain futures.

The defender has already lost his place in the team in recent weeks. When using a back four, manager Howe has generally favoured a central pairing of Dan Burn and Fabian Schar.

But Lascelles, 28, has no complaints about his drop-off in gametime. Instead, he is complimentary of the way the club and his manager have been going about improving the squad.

He told the Telegraph: “I think the new players have added to what was already here.

“The manager was smart about that. He didn’t just go for players who are good on the pitch, he went for players who are good in the dressing-room.

“He went for leaders too like Chris Wood, Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn. The manager knows exactly what he’s doing.

“He’s huge on team camaraderie, players with personality, people getting on and gelling together because you do all those things off the pitch and then you want to run an extra mile for your teammate.”

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Newcastle United are keeping expectations low for their first summer transfer window under their new owners. Still, rumours are swirling about high-calibre players they may sign.

In turn, players who have lost a starting role, like Lascelles, may be linked with moves away. But the former Nottingham Forest man is not concerned.

Indeed, he views the increasing expectations as a good thing in relation to how the squad have reacted.

Lascelles affirms ‘everyone is desperate to stay’ at Newcastle

Jamaal Lascelles playing for Newcastle United

“I’d love to stay here for as long as possible,” Lascelles added. “Who wouldn’t?

“I’m captain of the club and where things are going at the minute is a fantastic thing to be part of.

“I just think we’re all working hard. That’s the other thing, because everyone is desperate to stay and be a part of it, the level improves. Not just in the way we train, but the way people are sensible in what they do in and around the city.

“The transfer speculation isn’t hard to deal with. Not really, because when you see all the superstars being linked, we don’t know how true that all is.

“We also know that you cannot completely change a football team overnight; it’s going to be gradual. Even if that is what this club eventually turns into, it’s what is happening now that matters to us.

“All I know, the players who are here want to be involved with this football club for as long as we possibly can. It’s a great thing at the minute. It will be fascinating to see how that all develops in the next year and beyond that.”

Lascelles is under contract on Tyneside until 2024. He has made more than 200 appearances for the club since joining them in 2014.

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