Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore believes that Newcastle have found their own answer to former Reds and England captain, Steven Gerrard.
Speaking in his column for the Daily Mirror, Collymore believes that with so many modern-day footballers finding themselves in academies at a young age, it leads to many of them becoming somewhat mollycoddled to the stage where they are- as Collymore puts it ‘men-children.’
He believes that this has led to a lack of footballers who have the attributes to be captains of their respective sides.
However, he feels there is no such problem with Newcastle captain, Jamaal Lascelles, who has begun this Premier League season in fine form, scoring two winning goals and keeping two clean sheets in his first six games this term.
“He is happy to call himself out, happy to call out team-mates and his club, if he needs to,” Collymore writes.
“He demands standards, he is not afraid to ask questions and is a reminder that leadership is always an important quality.
“Lascelles has recognised that and stepped up- and the Geordie nation will love him for it.”
Collymore believes that not only the centre-back’s performances, but the leadership qualities that he has displayed also, will have worked himself into the thoughts of Collymore’s former Aston Villa captain and current England manager, Gareth Southgate.
“Southgate and his England scouts will be watching players not just as individual performers leading up to the World Cup, but potential pairings as well.
“It is important for managers to have people in the team who will manage not just themselves, but the rest of the players.”
Collymore also feels that Lascelles is working under no better manager than Rafa Benitez to develop these qualities- who famously worked at Liverpool with Steven Gerrard as his captain.
“Benitez would have put an arm around Steven Gerrard from time to time at Anfield and said, ‘Keep your eye on so-and-so’, ‘Let me know what’s happening with such-and-such’, ‘He needs a rollocking, give him one so I don’t have to’,” Collymore claimed.
“He will have recognised how Gerrard managed Liverpool’s dressing room, something he can pass on to Lascelles.”