Jamaal Lascelles has told the Getting Messi podcast that he could have joined Arsenal or Everton from Nottingham Forest as a teenager – instead swapping the Championship club for Newcastle United at the age of just 20.
Now 27, Lascelles is Newcastle captain and has clocked up 175 appearances for The Toon – continuing to go under the radar as perhaps one of England’s more consistent centre-backs. He is yet to win a full England cap.
However, it could have been very different. Lascelles had broken into the Forest side as a teenager and by the time Newcastle paid £4.5million in 2014, he had already played 65 times for Forest. But The Toon were not the first club interested.
Lascelles spilt the beans over potential moves to the Premier League, claiming that he could have moved to north London with Arsenal or Merseyside with Everton. In the end, Newcastle signed him – but his career could have taken a very different path.
“The Arsenal interest, it was there. I think it was definitely there. I cannot remember who my agent was at the time,” Lascelles said. “I was 18 and concentrating on my job. My dad didn’t want it to effect me or my ego. That was kind of kept away from me.
“The Everton thing, I actually went to the training ground and had a look around and stuff. They were interested. I am not sure why it didn’t happen but they were interested as well. As a kid, there has always been paper talk and speculation.”
TBR’s view – Would Everton or Arsenal take Lascelles now?
Everton could have done with a centre-back such as Lascelles in the summer – but eventually, Everton moved for Ben Godfrey from Norwich. With Mason Holgate considered a centre-back, they now have options along with Michael Keane and Yerry Mina.
Arsenal are on the lookout for central defenders, though. David Luiz, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi are all in the final year of their contract – while William Saliba is struggling to get regular game time. Lascelles could be a decent option for the Gunners.