Newcastle United are flying high in the Championship this season, currently leading the division by a single point ahead of second-placed Brighton.
And whilst second-tier top scorer Dwight Gayle might be dominating the headlines, one Magpie at the other end of the pitch has been equally influential – 23-year-old captain Jamaal Lascelles.
Indeed, the centre-back has missed just one Championship fixture so far this term to help Rafa Benitez’s side claim the third-best defensive record in the division.
As is often the case with young, English players showing decent form, Lascelles has been linked with a January move to the Premier League – and more specifically, Liverpool.
Indeed, The Shields Gazzette recently reported on interest from the Anfield outfit, who’ve apparently been scouting the former Nottingham Forest youngster over the last few weeks.
And upon taking a quick gander at Lascelles’ numbers this season, it’s not hard to see why Liverpool are so keen on the 6ft. 2″ defender – especially amid their own frailties at the back.
Lascelles has completed a staggering 172 clearances already this season – 98 more than Liverpool’s best defender in that regard, Dejan Lovren – but his impressive pass completion percentage proves the Magpies ace is no hoof-merchant and would suit Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy of playing out from the back.