Young English centre-halves are a valuable commodity in today’s market. Just look at how much Everton paid for Michael Keane, Leicester City for Harry Maguire and the £30 million Middlesbrough were demanding for skipper Ben Gibson (The Telegraph) despite being relegated from the Premier League last season.
Therefore, Newcastle United could slap a similarly huge price tag onto the head of Jamaal Lascelles with the 23-year-old excelling in The Magpies’ return to the top flight. And you wonder how long it will be before potential suitors come knocking.
£30m or nothing
And the fact that the former Nottingham Forest youngster, who became the youngest permanent captain in the club’s history last year, has taken to the top flight like a duck to water will only make Lascelles a more tempting proposition for cash-rich suitors.
Especially if, as expected, Lascelles is handed a maiden England call-up between now and the end of the season.
Therefore, Newcastle should perhaps prepare themselves now for an onslaught of interest in a player whose excellent reading of the game and impressive technical ability makes him an intriguing blank canvas for a club higher up the footballing pyramid.
Mike Ashley has frequently sold Newcastle’s best players for a profit and there’s little reason to believe he has changed tack now.
Though Newcastle should not ask for anything less than £30 million when the time is right. If Middlesbrough can demand such a fee for Ben Gibson and successfully ward off interest, then their north east rivals should take a leaf out of their book.