Whilst news of Jamaal Lascelles’ new contract extension has generally been met positively by NUFC fans, a number of supporters have questioned whether Mike Ashley has an ulterior motive behind giving the skipper a new six-year deal.
Here are the three fan theories that have emerged on social media since the captain put pen to paper today – with two being worrying, and one being quite promising:
1 – A new contract means more money for Mike if he sells – It sounds cynical, but we all know that a contract does not mean a player stays – more meaning that a player will cost more if a club comes to sign him. As much as I’d love to see Lascelles stay for many years to come, a bigger contract means we can demand a bigger fee – and I fear Ashley would cash in if a huge offer came our way (See Carroll etc.). Some also fear that the new deal will include a relegation clause. Would you blame him if it did?
Breaking: Ashley secures higher price tag for Lascelles in January #NUFC
— Cory Jay Graham (@Coryjgraham) November 1, 2018
So Jamaal Lascelles signs a new one year extension and everyone is buzzing?
Means nowt. Just more money for Ashley when we sell him in January.
— CompleteNUFC (@CompleteNUFC) November 1, 2018
2 – An attempt to distract from protests and bad press? – With a potential boycott planned for the Wolves game in December, could this be a timely move from Ashley to try and appease frustrated NUFC fans? Ashley and his cronies are not liking the protests and the bad press they are receiving, so you never know.
— The Mag (@NUFCTheMag) November 1, 2018
Such a shame that #NUFC fans are so cynical about Lascelles’ contract signing… but you can’t help but think it’s totally spot on, this is Ashley’s Newcastle after all… the more profit the better. 😔
— Kris (@geordiekris83) November 1, 2018
3 – Would Lascelles sign if he knew Rafa was leaving in the summer? – Some fans are wondering whether Lascelles’ deal signals progress on Rafa Benitez’s future. After all, I can’t see Lascelles committing his future to the club if he’s expecting Rafa to be gone in a few months time..
Might be clutching here but can’t see lascelles signing that deal unless there’s a decent chance Rafa is sticking around with him
— The Looney Toon (@The_Looney_Toon) November 1, 2018
One other possibility (although this seems far more unlikely) is that Lascelles putting pen to paper could signal *some* level of ambition and hope moving forward, meaning Rafa may be more likely to sign in the coming months IF Ashley also spends in January.
The first two ‘theories’ feel like a cynical way of looking at it, but we all know Ashley. Andy Carroll didn’t look like he was about to leave NUFC, but Ashley jumped at the chance to sell him when a huge offer came in.
Let’s hope it’s the latter that happens and not one of the two theories that has emerged following Lascelles’ new contract, but his is what happens when you’ve had 10 years of lies and deceit from Mike Ashley – you struggle to even get behind the good news.