Form of Newcastle prospects must encourage long-term thinking for Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United's English defender Jamaal Lascelles (C) celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammates Newcastle United's Spanish striker Mato Joselu (L) and Newcastle United's...

Rafa Benitez could be about to change his stance on his Newcastle future, with Jamaal Lascelles just one of a number of exciting young stars.

Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United celebrates after he scores the winning goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St. James Park on September 16,...

Newcastle United have found form in the Premier League in recent weeks - and they have done it with the youngest team in the division, as reported by the BBC.

The brilliant win at Swansea City and against Stoke City were inspired by captain Jamaal Lascelles - young for a leader at 23 - and he now looks set to be rewarded for his fine performances.

The Telegraph have reported that Lascelles is set to land a new contract in the coming weeks, also claiming that this hints at a return to long-term thinking for manager Rafa Benitez.

Newcastle goalscorer Jamaal Lascelles celebrates on the final whistle during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Newcastle United at Liberty Stadium on September 10, 2017 in...

Quotes from Benitez - reported by the Daily Mail - hinted last month that the former Liverpool boss was no longer looking at his time at St James' Park as a project, but a new deal for Lascelles suggests a rethink.

And few could blame Benitez for that change of heart because, after a tough start to the season, Lascelles is far from the only young star shining in Newcastle.

Isaac Hayden, 22, and Mikel Merino, 21, have established themselves as the starting midfield pair, while tied with Lascelles as the club's top-scorer this term is Aleksandar Mitrovic, 22.

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on August 26,...

Other young players - such as DeAndre Yedlin, Javier Manquillo and Chancel Mbemba - are options in defence and Newcastle's wingers - like Rolando Aarons and Jacob Murphy - also have age on their side.

There are others, too, and Newcastle's long-term future is suddenly looking somewhat brighter than it did just a few short weeks ago.

Benitez would surely love the opportunity to continue developing these young talents in the coming years.

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