Darren Bent has suggested that Jamaal Lascelles has proved him wrong by transforming into a “real leader” since being handed the Newcastle United captaincy.
Lascelles was appointed as the Magpies captain when he was just 22-years-old and was about to kick off the club’s 2016/17 season in the Championship.
Since then he has helped Newcastle return to the Premier League and has been an ever-present in their defensive line.
Three years on since being handed the armband, Sky Sports pundit Bent has heaped praise on Lascelles for the way that he has risen to the role despite Newcastle being one of the biggest clubs in the country.
“When they first made him captain I was a bit surprised but over the years he’s turned into a real leader. He’s still quite young for him to be captain of such a high-profile football club,” Bent told Football Insider.
“When it doesn’t go well, it’s tough, I’ve been there when the home fans are on the home team’s back, it’s a tough place to go and play. It’s a learning experience for him, it’ll make him a stronger character and I’m sure he’s got people around him who are experienced that can help.”
Lascelles has done well as Newcastle captain but he is no doubt facing one of his toughest seasons in football because he needs to step up and be a massive leader for the rest of the squad. Steve Bruce’s spell as manager has not started well with defeats to Arsenal and Norwich and huge opposition from the Toon Army in regards to his appointment to replace Rafa Benitez. Bruce’s tactics and management have been called into question after just two matches due to so many errors and players looking all over the place on the pitch, so there really is a lot of pressure on Lascelles to step up. It is hard for him to do that, especially as he is someone who made a mistake that led to Arsenal scoring at St James’ Park in the first game of the season, but he needs to put that in the past and try to lead by example.