In Focus: New deal for Lascelles gives sense of stability at Newcastle United

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a new contract with captain Jamaal Lascelles, according to the Chronicle.

What’s the word?

The 24-year-old has been praised this season for his leadership qualities and performances at the back for the Magpies.

It is believed that Lascelles is on the verge of being rewarded in the form of a fresh contract.

The Chronicle quotes manager Rafael Benitez as saying that a new deal is “very close” to being agreed.

The defender has been part of the North-East clubs since his 2014 switch from Nottingham Forest, and he earned the captaincy in August last year.

It has also been reported that a handful of other players are in talks to extend their deals at St James’ Park.

Is it deserved?

During chunks of last season, Lascelles faced criticism from the fans, but since returning to the top flight, the defender has stepped up.

The England Under-21 international has shown strong leadership qualities and wisdom beyond his years.

With questions constantly circling Benitez’s future, the club are in need of some stability, and having the captain sign a new deal will not only provide that but may encourage others to put pen to paper.

This season, Lascelles has featured in every one of Newcastle’s Premier League games and he is a big reason why the club are 10th in the table.

After back-to-back defeats at the start of the campaign, the Magpies went on a three-game winning run, but were brought back down to earth in a recent 1-0 loss to Brighton.

Newcastle will take on Benitez’s former club Liverpool at home this Sunday.