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Why Jamaal Lascelles would be an ideal signing for Liverpool

According to an earlier report from the Independent last summer, Liverpool had set their sights on Newcastle United centre-back Jamaal Lascelles in a bid to bolster their options at the back. However, a move to Merseyside failed to materialize and the Englishman extended his stay at Tyneside by signing a new deal.

Lascelles is widely regarded as one of the most promising defensive prospects of English football. A product of Nottingham Forest’s youth academy, the 24-year-old was signed by the Magpies in the 2014-15 season and was loaned back to his former club for the rest of the campaign. He made his first-team debut for Newcastle in the 2015-16 season and has racked up a total of 127 appearances for his current club, also bearing the honour of being the designated club captain.

Lascelles has established himself as one of the mainstays of Newcastle’s backline over the years. He has been one of the brightest sparks of the club’s otherwise lacklustre campaign in the Premier League this term, catching the eye with his consistently impressive performances at the back.

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Lascelles has averaged 1.1 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 3.2 aerial duels and 6.8 clearances per game in the Premier League this term. While his tackling skills might not be as good as some of the top quality centre-backs, he makes up for it with his strength, positional awareness, agility and composure.

He is capable of timing his jump to perfection to beat his offensive counterparts to the aerial balls inside the box, making him a genuine threat from set-pieces and crosses on both sides of the pitch. Furthermore, he is also quite good with his passing and plays the ball off the ground often to set up attacks from the back.

To put things into perspective, Liverpool should revive their interest in the 24-year-old defensive wall when the transfer window reopens next summer. Lascelles definitely has the quality to play for a top-six side in the Premier League and the Reds should consider making a move for him to bolster their defensive options.

Liverpool have put up a brave fight in their attempt to hold off City’s Premier League title challenge, with Jurgen Klopp’s men in pursuit of their first league title in 28 years. Klopp has built a formidable squad with the help of significant transfer activity over the course of the past year and a half, bringing in the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho to boost his options.

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As things stand, the Reds currently have all their bases covered but they should look to strengthen even further. Centre-back is an area that requires some investment, with neither Joel Matip nor Dejan Lovren proving themselves to be suitable backups for the regular pairing of van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Lovren, in particular, has let the team down with his lack of agility and composure, further epitomizing the need for Liverpool to invest in a new centre-back.

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And someone like Jamaal Lascelles definitely fits the bill. The 24-year-old has got the experience and the quality to provide cover and competition for van Dijk and Gomez at the back. That said, they should reignite their interest in the homegrown defensive ace next summer.

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