Newcastle United have been given a boost in an otherwise frustrating week on the injury front, according to The Chronicle.
What’s the latest Newcastle United injury news?
While Kieran Trippier and Javier Manquillo have joined Isaac Hayden, Federico Fernandez and Callum Wilson on the treatment table, Jamaal Lascelles has returned to training ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham United.
The club captain missed the win over Aston Villa through illness but has returned to training to offer Eddie Howe at least some added defensive reinforcement for a game Newcastle could really do with winning.
Without stating the obvious, there’s a real chance to ride the wave of momentum the team have picked up in the last few weeks and go on the kind of winning run the likes of Burnley, Watford and Norwich City might struggle to do.
How big a boost is this?
A few weeks ago, it seemed reasonable to wonder exactly what it is Lascelles needed to do in order to be dropped. Blamed by Alan Shearer for his role in Watford’s late equaliser last month, the 28-year-old looked a shell of his former self.
Still, even while acknowledging his own goal against Everton (something he could do nothing about), the skipper returned to form. As per WhoScored data, no defender on the pitch won as many aerial duels (9) or made as many interceptions and clearances (5 each).
With both specialist right-backs out, Lascelles’ return offers Howe the option to deploy a three-man backline too, pairing him with Dan Burn and Fabian Schar centrally with Jacob Murphy or Ryan Fraser at wing-back.
What has been said about Lascelles?
Speaking to BBC Radio Newcastle after the Everton win, Howe praised the captain.
“I’ve been really pleased with Jamal since I’ve come in.
“I think I’ve seen a player that really, really cares has been very, very good on the training ground day to day.
“Very good attitude to his work, wants to wants to learn wants to improve is a very good mentality.
“So I’ve been really pleased with him and I’ve enjoyed working with him.
“We’ve built up a good relationship. And I think in the games, I think he’s performed.
“I think he’s performed well, I think he’s improved as the team has, in my opinion. I feel there’s a lot more to come from him as well.
“I see a player a huge potential physically very good, and he’s led the team well, obviously people won’t see behind the scenes what goes on day to day but he’s he’s led the team incredibly well.
“And again, that’s an area that we can help him with and develop come in.
“So very positive signs from him.”