Former Nottingham Forest boss admits Newcastle loanees Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles are not ready for Premier League

Karl Darlow Low Quality

Stuart Pearce does not believe the loan duo are yet good enough for Premier League football with Newcastle.

Darlow and Lascelles signed for Newcastle last summer, heading back on loan to Forest for the remainder of the campaign, but former Forest boss Pearce has told the Chronicle that they are still not ready for top flight football.

“Well, they are both outstanding lads, without question,” the former England international said. “Their character is first-class. However, I don’t think they are ready yet to go straight into the Premier League. Darlow more or less played in my first team regularly but Lascelles not quite so much. He will require a bit more time.”

Darlow, a goalkeeper, and Lascelles, a defender, have enjoyed fairly differing seasons for the Championship outfit this term, as Pearce’s men - now managed by Dougie Freedman - saw their promotion race fall away early on.

Darlow has featured in all-but four of Forest’s games this term, making 41 appearances and conceding 60 goals whilst keeping 12 clean sheets.

The 24-year-old is a solid Championship level goalkeeper, who has the potential to make the step up to the Premier League, although he is still culpable for a number of mistakes fairly occasionally.

Lascelles has featured much less than Darlow, although as a central defender his mistakes can be much more costly. At 21-years-old, he has made 24 league appearances, and still looks like he is far from being at Championship quality, let alone that need in the top flight.

Despite the Magpies poor form recently, they should have enough points to stay in the Premier League, and that will see Darlow and Lascelles arrive at St James’ Park this summer.

Darlow is sure to remain with the first-team set-up, and could claim the starting ‘keepers role dependant upon the future of Tim Krul.

Lascelles, on the other hand, is likely to go out on loan, and it would come as a surprise if he was not playing in the Championship once again next term.

He still has a long way to go before being able to claim even a substitutes role in the top flight, and the next few years of his career will prove vital in his development if he is to ensure that he will be a top class central defender for years to come.

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