Some frustrating news for Jamaal Lascelles and NUFC fans hoping to see the skipper make the upcoming England squad, with the Times suggesting that Premier League centre-backs James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Alfie Mawson are ahead of him in the pecking order.
This comes from the Times’ Matt Hughes, who reveals that Southgate WILL hand a first England call-up to Burnley’s James Tarkowski for the upcoming friendlies with Holland and Italy, whilst Burnley’s Ben Mee and Swansea’s Alfie Mawson are also mentioned – but no Jamaal Lascelles.
In fairness, Burnley have enjoyed an excellent season, with only Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham conceding less goals than them, however I imagine Alfie Mawson’s potential inclusion over the NUFC skipper has left a few scratching their chin.
Here’s a snippet from Hughes’ piece on Southgate’s potential call-ups at centre-back:
‘James Tarkowski, the Burnley defender, is set to receive a first England call-up when Gareth Southgate names his squad tomorrow for this month’s friendlies against Holland and Italy.
‘Southgate’s central defensive plans have been thrown into flux by injuries to Phil Jones and the loss of form experienced by Gary Cahill and Michael Keane. As a result the England manager is looking other options, with Swansea’s Alfie Mawson and Tarkowski’s Burnley team-mate Ben Mee also under consideration.’
Don’t get me wrong, Mawson has performed well for Swansea in recent months, however Lascelles has been the shining light at Newcastle this season, barely putting a foot wrong all season – all whilst being the league’s youngest captain at 24.
Interestingly, a few fans have raised a valid point on the matter. Some have stated that it’s our gain and their loss, worrying that he’d be sold in the summer if he impressed at the World Cup, however other sections of supporters are frustrated to hear he may be overlooked once again:
This is a good thing. If Lascelles played like we know he can at the World Cup do you think we'd keep ahold of him? And there's the injury aspect as well
— Lubo (@lewisnufc1999) March 14, 2018
Scratching my head to think Ben Mee and Mawson are ahead of Lascelles.
— Cass. (@JamesCassidy16) March 14, 2018
Mawson ahead of Lascelles for England is frankly, a total joke.
— Allied 3iscuit (@P3rown) March 14, 2018
If Gareth Southgate chooses Mawson over Lascelles he's lost the plot ?
— Paul Charters (@Chartersss) March 14, 2018
Alfie Mawson?! Really?! This wouldn’t be another of Southgate’s under 21 “legacy” would it?
— The Steve (@TheMightySteve) March 14, 2018