Jamaal Lascelles January departure to Newcastle will hurt, says former Forest man

Kenny Burns is keen to see Nottingham Forest retain Newcastle man Jamaal Lascelles in January.

Lascelles completed a switch to Premier League side Newcastle United over the summer, signing for a fee of £7 million along with goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

As part of the deal, the Magpies agreed to loan the duo back to Forest for the current season, and, whilst Darlow has appeared in every game for the fifth-placed club, the 20-year-old defender has made just three substitute appearances.

Despite failing to impress on his return to the City Ground, Nottingham Forest legend Kenny Burns - who played in defence for the twice European Cup winning side of Brian Clough - is keen to see Lascelles stay with the Championship club in January - claiming that his departure will make the Forest squad weaker.

Writing in the Nottingham Post, Burns said: “I hope Nottingham Forest don't lose Jamaal Lascelles in January.

“I'm not sure if there are any clauses in the season-long deal that was struck when the Reds sold him and Karl Darlow to the Premier League club that would let them do that.

“But I know one thing for certain and that is that if the England Under-21 centre-back does exit in the new year then Forest's squad will be weaker – even if they get Steven Taylor in exchange.

“I know he's not started one game in the Championship so far this season, so it's not like the Reds would be losing one of their first-choice centre-backs.

“But he's great for Stuart Pearce to have in his squad just in case Michael Mancienne or Kelvin Wilson lose form or get injured.”

Having finally lost their first game of the season on Saturday, with the club falling from the top of the Championship table after defeat at Cardiff, Stuart Pearce takes his side to Hertfordshire on Tuesday to face current league leaders Watford. Having been top of the table heading into last weekend, the Midlands side could be six points off first if they fall to a second consecutive defeat, and Burns is keen to see Lascelles be rewarded with his first league start of the season following the poor defending on show in Wales.

He added: “Pearce might even be considering giving Lascelles a start at Watford tomorrow night after the way Forest defended in their 2-1 defeat against Cardiff.

“I know he's made it clear he's not going to make any knee-jerk reactions to a first league defeat of the season, but he might be tempted to make a change or two.

“At the very least I'm sure he will be asking one or two questions of his defence, after Federico Macheda and Peter Whittingham were given so much space to score Cardiff's goals.

“There's no doubt they are going to have to defend a hell of a lot better against the new league leaders at Vicarage Road if they want to bounce back from that painful loss straightaway.”

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