Alan Shearer hails Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles

BBC pundit Alan Shearer looks on before the FA Cup Second round match between Hartlepool United and Blyth Spartans at Victoria Park on December 5, 2014 in Hartlepool, England.

Alan Shearer has hailed Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles.

Newcastle United's English defender Jamaal Lascelles applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium in...

Pundit Alan Shearer has told BBC Sport that he thinks Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles treats the captaincy at St. James' Park just like he did.

The Magpies have enjoyed a mostly positive start to their first season back in the Premier League, though 1-0 defeats at Burnley and against Bournemouth have sent Newcastle into the international break on something of a low.

With four wins, two draws and five defeats from 11 games this season, Rafael Benitez's men are making steady progress upon their return to the top flight, and as they sit 11th in the Premier League table, Newcastle will be hoping to kick on.

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,...

One of the problems Benitez has faced so far this season has been inconsistent attacking play, with defender Jamaal Lascelles stepping up as their joint-top scorer in the Premier League with two goals.

The centre back has not only chipped in with goals, but has also impressed defensively, leading the Newcastle defence by example as club captain.

Lascelles, 24, signed from Nottingham Forest in 2014 before linking up with the Magpies a year later, has stepped up as a superb leader in the Newcastle defence despite having just 29 Premier League appearances to his name.

Some fans have touted Lascelles for an England call-up, and he has now received praise from Newcastle legend Alan Shearer, who has told BBC Sport that he thinks Lascelles has a similar mindset on the captaincy as he did, in terms of the pressure and responsibility that comes with skippering the Magpies.

BBC pundit Alan Shearer looks on before the FA Cup Second round match between Hartlepool United and Blyth Spartans at Victoria Park on December 5, 2014 in Hartlepool, England.

Shearer hailed Lascelles for the way he spoke out against teammate Mohamed Diame in training last month, and believes his nature of not being afraid to say what he thinks is vital to being a good captain.

“I had not met Jamaal Lascelles before I interviewed him for this week's Premier League Show but now I can see why Rafael Benitez made him Newcastle's captain,” said Shearer. “It is a job that I have been lucky enough to have done myself, so I understand the pressure and the responsibility that comes with the armband. Jamaal clearly does too. He sees being Newcastle skipper as an honour, just like I did, and he definitely has the kind of character you need to be the leader at my old club. It is a lot to take on at any age but he deserves even more credit when you consider he is the youngest captain in the top flight.”

“He wears his heart on his sleeve and leads by example when he is out on the pitch and he has the same approach when he is dealing with issues in the dressing room too. The training ground bust-up he had with Mo Diame last month, and particularly the way it was resolved, is a great example of that. So is the time he spoke up at half-time of Newcastle's defeat at Southampton in April 2016, when he was not even a regular in the team. Jamaal explained why he is not afraid to say what he thinks if he feels it is for the good of the team, and that is typical of his whole approach. He just sees it as part of the job of being captain - which is exactly right,” he added.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch