Some Newcastle United supporters may consider it sacrilege, but perhaps the club should consider selling captain Jamaal Lascelles this summer.
This isn’t a crazy idea, despite his status as the leader of the team, while it doesn’t come out of the blue either. Italian outlet Il Messaggero reported earlier this week that the 25-year-old is a transfer target for Italian giants Lazio.
Simone Inzaghi’s side have identified the Englishman as their key defensive target, while they are also thought to be interested in Arsenal man Calum Chambers.
Would it be the worst thing in the world for the Magpies to sanction Lascelles’s sale? Ruthless, yes. A bad thing for the club? Perhaps not.
This has undoubtedly been the most inconsistent season of the former Nottingham Forest man’s Newcastle career. Some of his performances this campaign were downright shocking, while his defensive ability appeared to have waned from when he was knocking on the door of the England squad the season before.
Plus, Rafael Benitez has as many options in the centre of the defence as he has at any position in his squad. Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune, Federico Fernandez, Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark are all already in situ on Tyneside. So it’s not as if selling Lascelles would leave them high and dry.
Benitez isn’t going to have much money to spend under Mike Ashley’s tyrannical grip this summer, but selling Lascelles, on a reported £40,000-per-week [Source: Spotrac], would give his funds a huge boost.
The club could demand a vast amount for a player in the prime of his career – the team’s captain no less – who they don’t necessarily want to sell.
With that said, the Magpies must do the unthinkable and move Lascelles on this summer if Lazio come in with a good enough offer. It’s time to give Benitez some proper resources to play with, and his captain’s sale could do just that.