Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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To Stay or Not to Stay? Newcastle’s Dilemma

Lascelles’ Stint at St James’ Park: Is a Transfer on the Horizon?

In the heart of Newcastle, a storm brews around Jamal Lascelles’ future at St James’ Park. With his contract dwindling down to less than a year, murmurs of a possible move to the Saudi Pro League stirred. However, reports from 90Min indicate that Newcastle hasn’t initiated any discourse regarding his departure. And the ticking clock reminds us – the Saudi window draws to a close this Thursday.

The Manager’s Playbook: Howe’s Strategy

Aged 29, Lascelles was amongst those that Eddie Howe had been willing to part ways with during the summer. But there was a catch: a replacement was non-negotiable. And while Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall graced the pitch as the club’s newest full-backs, the hunt for a new centre-half proved fruitless.

However, with the season’s onset revealing vulnerabilities in the form of injuries to Sven Botman and Fabian Schar, Howe’s stance has shifted. The message is unequivocal: Newcastle can’t risk losing Lascelles. This sentiment is underpinned by recent events, including Botman’s ankle misfortune during the Brighton match and Schar’s muscle woes. The vacuum created saw Dan Burn stepping up for Botman. Now, whispers around St James’ Park suggest Lascelles may fill the gap left by Schar.

A Firm Stand Amidst Transfer Chatter

Pressed on the possibility of losing Lascelles ahead of the looming Saudi Pro League deadline, Howe stated, “That is not something I’ve really considered. Our squad is settled and I expect our squad to stay together because certainly we couldn’t afford to lose anybody.”

But with the injury plague visiting, uncertainties linger. Howe confessed his ignorance on Botman’s potential return, saying, “This is an unknown to be honest. There was hope he might be fit for this game but then he didn’t feel too good yesterday, so he was ruled out. We will see how quickly he improves.”

Whether Newcastle’s defensive anchor stays or goes remains a tale unfolding. But for now, the Magpies hold on tight.

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