Lascelles looks to the future after penning new deal
Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles feels he has plenty to offer his side in the coming years after he penned a new deal which will keep him at the club until June 2024.
It was announced that the 24-year-old had signed a six-year contract on Thursday, having previously inked a fresh deal last year.
But after committing his future to the club by signing a new, improved and extended deal, Lascelles expressed his delight that his prime years would be spent at St. James’ Park.
“I’m over the moon. It’s all I ever wanted really – to be tied down to a long term contract at a massive club like Newcastle,” he said. “It’s my fourth season now, but just to know that I’m guaranteed (to be) here for another six years is a great achievement for me.
“I’m a centre half, and I don't think centre halves reach their prime until about 26 or 27, so I know I’ve still got a lot more to offer. Just knowing that I’m here for another six years is a great achievement for me – I’m pretty sure the fans will be happy, and now I can take one thing off my mind. It’s just about getting my head down on the pitch and really focussing on football, and trying to get us out of this situation and climb up the table.”
Lascelles joined United from Nottingham Forest in 2014 and spent the 2014/15 campaign back on loan at the City Ground.
But since his emergence in the 2015/16 season, the defender has gone from strength to strength at the heart of the Magpies’ backline, skippering the side to their Championship title win in 2017 before helping Rafa Benítez’s men earn a tenth-place top flight finish last term.
Manager Benítez described his captain as “the future of the club and someone who really cares” this week – and Lascelles was quick to hail the influence his boss has had on him.
“I think I have his full backing. He’s quite pleased with how I am as a player, as a captain, and I’m pretty sure he wants me here,” he said. “He’s been a huge factor in my development from the minute he walked in to now – I found myself improving as a player, captain and person.
“His door’s always open. Since I’ve been here, him coming in is probably the best thing that’s happened to Newcastle, and hopefully it stays that way.”
On the pitch, Newcastle are still seeking a first win of the campaign, with Watford the visitors on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
And Lascelles believes his side must begin to “find a way to win” as they look to put an end to their slow start to the season.
“We just need to find a way to win, because we’re playing good football and creating chances,” he said. “It’s just about maybe being a bit more cute and smart on the pitch, and just finding a way to win.
“That’s what Brighton did – we had the possession, we were the better team, but they found a way to score. In football, I’m afraid that’s what it’s about – it doesn’t matter how well you play.”
"I’m a centre half, and I think centre halves don’t reach their prime until about 26 or 27, so I know I’ve still got a lot more to offer. Just knowing that I’m here for another six years is a great achievement for me – I’m pretty sure the fans will be happy, and now I can take one thing off my mind."