Rafael Benitez: 'Jamaal Lascelles has potential to play for England'

Rafael Benitez believes that Jamaal Lascelles has the potential to play for England but insists that the Newcastle United defender must keep working hard for his club.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has urged Jamaal Lascelles to stay focused and keep up the good work if he wants to catch the eye of England boss Gareth Southgate.

The 23-year-old defender has impressed for the Magpies on their return to the Premier League, scoring winning goals in each of the club's last two games.

Lascelles has helped Newcastle to fourth in the fledgling table following their rocky start to the campaign and has been touted as a potential candidate for Southgate's senior squad.

Although Benitez insists that the former Nottingham Forest man definitely has the potential to break into the Three Lions squad, the Spaniard is keen to keep his player's feet on the ground.

The former Liverpool boss told Sky Sports News: "I [took him to one side for a chat], but I've done this with some players. When you are doing really well, I say to them it's important to concentrate on their jobs. If they are doing well, what they have to do is keep doing the same things.

"I have years of experience. It's the most difficult thing. If you are doing well and everyone is praising you and praising you, sometimes if you are young you lose your focus. It's to remind them that this is the way to continue being praised.

"He's happy with this approach. It's quite easy for me to tell him, 'You have to keep working hard', because he was doing it anyway. We're trying to improve other things in his game, but in terms of this - his mentality and character - he's fine.

"He's someone that has the potential and has to keep working the same way that he's working, and he will improve. How much will he improve? I don't know. But he has the potential and that's quite positive."

Lascelles has represented England at all youth international levels from Under-18 to Under-21, winning 12 caps in total.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez dreams of Istanbul ahead of his side's Premier League meeting with Manchester City on April 19, 2016
Read Next:
Benitez: 'League position means nothing'
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account