Former Newcastle attacker John Barnes believes captain Jamaal Lascelles would be a ‘good addition’ to the England squad for the forthcoming friendly double-header.
Gareth Southgate will name his latest Three Lions squad on Thursday for the matches against Netherlands and Italy, with Lascelles and team-mate Jonjo Shelvey hoping to be considered by the England boss.
Lascelles, in particular, has forced himself into the reckoning on the back of a strong season at the heart of United’s defence, displaying the leadership qualities that persuaded Rafa Benitez to hand the 24-year-old the captains armband back in 2016.
Newcastle’s form suffered during Lascelle’s absence with injury earlier in the season and Southgate has watched the former Nottingham Forest centre-back on a few occasions this term.
And Barnes, who spent 18 months at St James’ Park between 1997 and 1999, believes Lascelles possesses all the attributes to be an England international ahead of Burnley defender James Tarkowski.
“I think he would be (a good addition to the England squad),” the Liverpool legend told the Chronicle.
“Not necessarily for his leadership qualities but because of his ability. Going into an England squad for his England cap – it wont be because of his leadership qualities, he won’t be the captain like he is at Newcastle.
“He is quick, he is strong and I don’t think there are many England defenders who you would say have really cemented their place in the team, never mind the squad.
“He is playing well and I don’t see why he shouldn’t be close to a call at all.”