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Opinion: Newcastle should not sell Jamaal Lascelles just yet

As the clock winds down on the transfer window, the phones are still ringing at Newcastle United as clubs look to take advantage of Newcastle’s current situation.

2TD58TY Newcastle, UK. 16th December 2023. Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Fulham at St. James’s Park, Newcastle on Saturday 16th December 2023. (Photo: Robert Smith | MI News) Credit: MI News & Sport /Alamy Live News

The club has clarified that FFP has restricted their January transfer business, and multiple offers have come in for their players. Jamaal Lascelles being one of them.

A plague of injuries has hit Newcastle due to the fixture congestion with the Champions League earlier this season – then the December schedule in the Premier League. Newcastle were also still in the Carabao Cup at the time.

The squad has been depleted with injuries and the ban on Sandro Tonali; there isn’t enough depth in the team, most notably in defence. Now, Sven Botman and Fabian Schar are currently fully fit and available. But what if one of them were to get injured?

The only options currently available for Newcastle are Lascelles and Dan Burn. Most recently, Nottingham Forest and Besiktas came in for Lascelles. But Newcastle aren’t willing to sell the defender this January.

It wouldn’t be the best time either, as January can be tough to get transfer deals done because if Lascelles were to be sold, then Newcastle would have to spend time looking for a replacement. Still, the issue is only a few clubs are willing to let their player leave in the January window due to the importance they bring.

Newcastle can’t sell Lascelles because they would need more time to look for a replacement, and currently, there is no need to sell him. Newcastle is still in the FA Cup and has a chance to qualify for the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.

To link back to the earlier point, if Lascelles were to be transferred out of the club, they would be left with Burn, Paul Dummett, and Emil Krafth as their only centre back options.

Lascelles makes an impact each time he comes to play, whether starting or coming off the bench. Lascelles’ stats in all competitions show that in the 1,708 minutes of football he has played, he has made one clearance but shows that his key strengths have been clearing the ball, which was recorded at a 3.4 per 90, and his blocks are at 0.7. Compared to Burn and Krafth, Burn has a slight edge on tackling with a 1.6, but the rest isn’t much of a difference.

Whilst it isn’t perfect, it shows that when asked, he can do the job that he is required to do. Newcastle can always come back to offers for Lascelles in the summer, but for now, they’ll have to keep hold of him if they get any more injuries.