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Wolves should sign Lascelles over Dawson

Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly interested in signing Newcastle United captain Jamal Lascelles this month and the 29-year-old could be a better option for Julen Lopetegui than West Ham man Craig Dawson.

According to Football Insider, the Old Gold will target a move for the former Nottingham Forest man if they fail to prise Dawson away from relegation rivals West Ham.

A bid for the 32-year-old centre-back has already been rejected by David Moyes’ side, although he was left out of their squad during their 1-0 defeat at Molineux at the weekend.

Lascelles would represent a younger option who could replace the leadership void left by Conor Coady, after Bruno Lage inexplicably allowed the club captain to join Everton on loan.

It is also more likely that a deal could be done, as while West Ham may have qualms about strengthening a direct rival, Newcastle will have no problem with sending a player down the league while they challenge for a Champions League spot.

Since joining Newcastle from Forest in 2014, he has gone on to make 221 appearances for the Toon, contributing 14 goals and four assists in that time.

Although he is officially captain of Eddie Howe’s side, the summer addition of Sven Botman has meant that Lascelles has managed just six appearances in the top flight so far this campaign.

However, he has impressed on his two starts in the League Cup, averaging a superb 7.15 rating from WhoScored for his performances against Tranmere Rovers and Crystal Palace.

Dawson, meanwhile, has struggled to replicate his form from last season with the Hammers so far this campaign, averaging a disappointing 6.42 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

The former Rochdale man will turn 33 later this year so wouldn’t represent a long-term option, while he perhaps wouldn’t bring the leadership skills that Lascelles would, with the defender having captained both Newcastle and Forest in his career.

Howe was full of praise for the titan, who earns £40k-per-week at Newcastle, last season despite him losing his place in the first-team lineup.

He said: “His attitude has been spot on. He’s obviously our captain and he’s led like a captain even in a difficult moment for him because he would want to play every game.

“I always think that’s a true test of a leader is in the difficult moments and I think Jamaal has been absolutely superb – he’s been positive in the changing room before the game, during training – I cannot speak highly enough of his reaction to that.”

 

Lopetegui is definitely lacking an alternative centre-back option to Max Kilman and Nathan Collins, so he should definitely consider a swoop for Lascelles this month.