Everton are crying out for a leader in the heart of defence, and Jamaal Lascelles’ latest interview suggests he could be the perfect transfer target.
Well, Everton have signed three centre backs in the last 18 months, adding Michael Keane in 2017 before signing both Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma last summer.
While Zouma is only at the club on loan, it is clear that Marcel Brands and Marco Silva have identified the defence as an area that needs massive improvement, but their big problem at the moment is they don’t have a leader.
With Phil Jagielka coming to the end of his reign in the heart of the Toffees’ defence, Silva and Brands must look for leadership qualities in the transfer market above all else, and Lascelles has been linked with a move to Merseyside before.
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Lascelles was visibly furious with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on Monday night, as the pair clashed after Dubravka’s error gifted Wolves a late equaliser.
Speaking with Sky Sports about the incident, the Magpies skipper said: “On the pitch there and then, I was just angry with everything.
“It wasn’t necessarily to do with him, it was just to do with everything. They scored at that minute but when I looked back at it, it was as clear as anything that it was a foul.
“So I apologised to him and I shouldn’t really be doing that to him. I hold my hands up but at the same time I’ve got a job to do.
“I haven’t got the armband because I’m technically the best or gifted. It’s because I’m honest and I’m hard-working. I won’t change in that aspect.”
Lascelles touched on three things there that Everton simply don’t have at the moment – anger, honesty and work ethic.
Lascelles may not be the best centre back at Newcastle, and in fact he may not even be the second or third-best given how well Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez have played this season, but this sort of commanding leadership does not come around too often.
The 25 year-old is brutally honest, extremely passionate and hard-working, and will give his life for the fans who support him and his teammates around him.
This is exactly the attitude currently missing to give a talented Everton squad that killer instinct needed to kick on to the next level, and the Toffees should absolutely re-visit their interest in Lascelles this summer.