Rafa Benitez explains why Jamaal Lascelles will be a good defender in the future

Lascelles has featured in all but one of the games Benitez has taken charge of at Newcastle.

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has said that Jamaal Lascelles could be a good defender for the future because he continues to learn.

Lascelles has been at the heart of the Newcastle defence in every game bar one since the Spaniard took over on Tyneside, and the 22-year-old has shown some potential, even if there has been the odd occasion when his inexperience has shown.

Benitez is quoted in the Chronicle, saying: “From watching from outside you can see a young centre-back who normally needs to improve and make mistakes, but the reaction when he makes mistakes when we are training, he is always listening to you and tries to understand.

“He is doing really well and he will be a really good centre-back for the future because he is doing really well now and he is learning.

“He is so young for a centre-back; 22 is young for a centre-back. He still has 10 years to play at the maximum level. I can see someone who is very professional, who is keen to learn, and for a centre-back he has a great future.”

The comments are also interesting in terms of how Benitez is managing the player, saying that he does not really mind him making the mistakes as in the long-term they will make him a better player.

Benitez has prided himself in the past on having defensively solid teams and it is a compliment to Lascelles that he is rated so highly by his manager.

He certainly has a lot of trust in him right now as he has played every minute in each of the last three games where Newcastle seem to have generated some momentum in their bid to avoid relegation from the top flight, and he could be one of the side's heroes if they manage to retain their Premier League status.

That would also mean time for him to develop under Benitez, which could benefit both the player and the club in the longer term.

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