Steve Stone gives his frank assessment of Jamaal Lascelles

The former Newcastle first-team coach has been discussing the 22-year-old.

Former Newcastle United coach Steve Stone believes Jamaal Lascelles is nowhere near ready to step up to the Tyneside outfit's first team, according to the Shields Gazette.

Indeed, the youngster will need plenty of time to adapt to the Premier League, according to Stone, and is one for the future rather than someone who can help out now.

Stone feels Lascelles needs to get to grips with the standard of strikers in the top flight but that he can use his experiences from this term to help him out greatly next season.

He is quoted as saying by the Gazette: "He'll definitely take time. What he is at the minute is someone who needs to learn the game at Premier League level.

"It's totally different to the Championship, let me tell you. He needs to fit into structures, not just his own game. He's played a couple of games. He's not quite ready yet but maybe next season he'll be better for it.

"He needs to understand what Premier League centre forwards do. They're a totally different level to what he's used to."

Right now, of course, that's no disaster for Newcastle and perhaps just what they need. Mike Williamson has been recalled and, when he is fit, can provide back-up in terms of numbers.

Fabricio Coloccini, meanwhile, has picked up out of nowhere and, if he can maintain his current level of form and commitment, the Magpies really do have one less major area to worry about.

Next up for Newcastle is a home clash against Aston Villa, from which a win would do the St James' Park outfit a world of good in terms of picking up points and hurting one of their relegation rivals.

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