Will Jamaal Lascelles get his chance at Newcastle this season?

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Jamaal Lascelles is set to return to Newcastle this weekend, after Nottingham Forest’s season ends.

The English defender signed for Newcastle last summer, but immediately returned to Forest on loan until the end of this campaign.

He has featured 26 times for the Championship club, and with their season ending this weekend, he is set to head to St James’ Park with three Premier League fixtures remaining.

This begs the question of whether he should feature for the Magpies before the end of the campaign.

At the age of 21, Lascelles is able to feature despite not being named on their Premier League squad list, as Under-21 players are available for selection.

Newcastle’s current run of seven consecutive losses certainly suggests that changes need to be made, and the defensive performance shown by John Carver’s men in the 3-2 loss to Swansea has highlighted the back-line as an area that needs real strengthening.

Considering Lascelles has been acceptable, if not outstanding, for Forest this season, many would suggest that throwing him into the deep end would be unwise. He was not a first-team regular at the City Ground, and a Premier League relegation battle could be too much for him.

But on the other hand, it is hard to see how he could be much worse than the current Newcastle back-line. Predominately a centre-half, the youngster is able to play at right back as well, and his versatility could prove vital to a Newcastle side currently suffering through an enduring injury crisis.

Lascelles will return to St James’ Park, and it would be a surprise if he was not named on the substitutes bench for the last three games considering the state of Newcastle’s squad.

However, if he is called upon to feature for the first-team, strong performances in Newcastle’s relegation battle could be the making of the 21-year-old defender.

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