Newcastle: Top striker in demand; midfielder to follow departing Sissoko; new captain named
Newcastle fans found their optimism for the Championship season blunted in a 1-0 defeat to Fulham on Friday, but the future is still looking bright for the Magpies. Manager Rafa Benitez has won trophies in three different top flight divisions including the Champions League and Newcastle had a rapturous away following in the loss to Fulham.
In more positive moves by Benitez, Jamaal Lascelles has been named captain for the coming season in what is considered a surprising, yet inspired move.
The 22-year-old featured heavily under Benitez at the end of last season, and many fans labelled him as one of the only positives of an otherwise dismal season. Lascelles’ passion and commitment at centre back made him an instant favourite at St James Park, and his leadership skills were remarkable for a young player.
Lascelles still has a lot of improvements to make as a player. He was caught sleeping at set pieces at times against Fulham, but generally held together a shaky defence. There’s no question he’s dedicated to the cause and more than vocal about it, not to mention a great player at championship level, making him a great choice for captain.
In more good news, Spanish forward Ayoze Perez has reiterated his commitment to the club, according to the Shields Gazette.
When asked about his future by Spanish publication El Dia, Perez said “I have a contract (with Newcastle) until 2021. I was part of the relegation and I am preparing to return to my best.”
Perez was linked with a plethora of Premier League clubs as well as Barcelona last season, so keeping hold of the young striker is a definitely statement of intent from Newcastle.
Perez mainly featured as a substitute last season, but did manage three goals and two assists in eight starts for the Magpies. He is far from the finished article, but Perez definitely has the potential to be an important player for the club.
The great French exodus at Newcastle is set to continue in the coming days, with defensive midfielder Henri Saivet being linked to Marseille.
According to The Mag, French publication La Provence report that talks are on-going between the two clubs and that Marseille are pursuing a fast deal.
The £5 million move for Saivet seemed an unusual one, and Saivet failed to appear once under Benitez after starting onto twice under Steve McClaren.
Saivet would be the third Newcastle player that Marseille have signed this summer, following the departures of Florian Thauvin and Remy Cabella.
Rafa Benitez is making moves to clear the dead wood from his squad as they push for promotion, as well as recoup some of the substantial transfer fees paid out to rebuild the team.
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