According to reports in the Northern Echo, Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley could be tempted to sell captain Jamaal Lascelles if he received a £30m offer for the centre-back, with Everton and Chelsea two of the clubs listed as interested in the highly-rated 24-year-old.
The central defender made the step up from the Championship to the Premier League seamlessly last season, and his strong leadership at the back was one of the main reasons Rafa Benitez, whom a huge majority of fans don’t want to spend a club-record £20m fee to sign a 28-year-old star, and his men ended the campaign in an impressive 10th position.
So, how would cashing in on the Englishman truly impact the Magpies? Football FanCast take a look at the potential consequences of a summer sale of the former Nottingham Forest man…
The ramifications of Ashley deciding to sell Lascelles for £30m would be huge, even if he may feel it is a decent fee for the player.
The facts are that the 24-year-old is arguably their most important player, and with five years left on his contract at St James’ Park he shouldn’t be sold regardless of the offer – unless perhaps the figure creeps up to the £50m mark.
Newcastle can’t become a club that sells its best players on a regular basis if they want to progress and match Benitez’s ambitions, and cashing in on the man the Spaniard trusts and made captain would likely be the final straw given his frustrations with Ashley in the past, and it would leave fans at breaking point with the owner.
While the departure of Lascelles would be a disaster for the fans, it would give Mbemba a much-deserved opportunity to stake a claim for a spot in the starting XI at centre-back.
Despite being something of a regular for the Magpies in the Premier League in the 2015/16 campaign, he has found first-team minutes hard to come by over the course of the previous two seasons, and found himself behind Lascelles, Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark in the pecking order last term.
However, the 23-year-old may well get the opportunity to save his Newcastle career if the Toon Army’s captain is sold, and he has shown previously that he has the ability to take it with both hands and thrive.
The 26-year-old showed in 2018 just how important he is to Newcastle and what a good player he is, and his performances certainly won’t have gone unnoticed by some of the bigger clubs in the Premier League.
Shelvey may have failed to make the grade at Liverpool previously, but he has progressed and matured significantly since then and now looks to be ready to make his mark for one of the top-six teams.
While the England international may choose to be loyal and stick around at St James’ Park if the Tyneside outfit prove they can match his ambitions, selling their influential captain for £30m would certainly not do that, and it would surely see him scrambling for the exit door himself.
So, Newcastle fans, should your club sell Lascelles for £30m? Let us know by voting below…