Stats show that this is Newcastle’s most important defender

Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United and teammate Martin Dubravka. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United and teammate Martin Dubravka. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) /

Jamaal Lascelles is a questionable leader, but his individual performances have been integral for Newcastle United.

Newcastle United are off to one of their best starts in the Premier League when compared to recent seasons, yet the level of confidence among fans is extremely low.

A penalty in the 97th minute in one game, and a free-kick that was scored in the 89th minute in another are just two examples of the luck that bailed the Magpies out this season.

The results are quite impressive, but the overall form of the team is too inconsistent. The blame for that primarily goes to head coach Steve Bruce as he is tasked with keeping his players motivated for each clash. However, his general on the pitch, Jamaal Lascelles, also needs to look in the mirror and wake up.

The role of a captain is to make those around you better, provide guidance, serve as a vocal leader, and hold teammates accountable for their mistakes so they are not repeated. Fans have seen flashes of these attributes in the past, but not lately.

Lascelles’ leadership is in the hot seats with fans, and rightfully so, but his overall performances have been critical for Newcastle United. In fact, when looking at the numbers, Lascelles is hands down the best defender in the squad.

That being said, let us take a look at Newcastle United’s form with the skipper in the lineup since the 2017-18 campaign.

Lascelles has missed a small chunk of games over the past few seasons due to various injuries, but he has made 96 Premier League appearances for the Toon since 2017, 95 of which were as a starter.

In those 96 games, Newcastle United’s overall record with Lascelles on the pitch consists of 32 victories, 24 draws, and 40 losses.

When further analyzing that record, one would see that Newcastle United have taken points off of their opponents in 58% of the games that Lascelles has been on the back line. The Toon have also celebrated 27 clean sheets in top flight action with Lascelles in the lineup.

Individual motivation has never been a problem for Lascelles as he aspires to earn a place in the England squad, but he needs to work on bringing the best out of his teammates.

That is especially true this season as the battle for a spot among the top ten is wide open in the Premier League.

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Even though the numbers make quite the case for Lascelles, do you think he is the best defender in the squad, or does that honor belong to someone else? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.