Why Arsenal would be wise to gamble on Nottingham Forest starlet

Young defender Lascelles is attracting plenty of interest from the Premier League this season.

Pace, power and passing ability – three reasons why NottinghamForest’s Jamaal Lascelles has caught the eye this season, and why Arsenal should go all-out to sign him.

Arsenal’s chief scout Steve Rowley watched Forest’s talented centre-back in the Championship clash against Bolton Wanderers at the weekend, and must have been impressed at what he saw, because the Gunners are understood to have made a bid for him.

There is no doubt that Lascelles would be a promising signing for Arsene Wenger, who has a long history of taking youngsters of potential and turning them into world-class players – think Cesc Fabregas - and clearly, Lascelles is a player of rare potential.

He has already appeared for England at Under-18, 19 and 20 levels. At 6’2’’, Lascelles is, unsurprisingly for a central defender, dominant in the air and strong in the tackle.

But he also possesses a surprising turn of pace, as well as bring confident on the ball with a strong passing ability, and is comfortable playing at right-back as well as in the middle.

He has surprised many with the speed at which he has slotted into the Forest backline this season, playing most of his matches alongside Jack Hobbs. He has made 15 appearances so far, and NottinghamForest manager Billy Davies is unsurprisingly determined to keep him.

Forest have offered Lascelles a new contract in a bid to fend off such growing interest, but Arsenal and Newcastle are both understood to have come in with offers of their own, while Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is also rumoured to be interested.

According to the Daily Mail, Forest could consider selling if Lascelles was then loaned back to them. Wenger has been monitoring Lascelles for a long time, and he may feel that the time is right to make a move.

At such a young age there is plenty of time for Lascelles to develop his game, and there are few better managers to work under than Wenger.

image: © stadiumguide

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