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Jamaal Lascelles could play for England at World Cup - Rafa Benitez

Jamaal Lascelles could play for England at World Cup - Rafa Benitez
From ESPN - January 12, 2018

Rafael Benitez has told Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles he could make it to the World Cup finals with England if he continues to develop as he has in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old centre-back has emerged as a pivotal man in Benitez's team having grown as both player and leader since captaining the Magpies to the Sky Bet Championship title last season.

England boss Gareth Southgate has already seen Lascelles in action this season, and Benitez is convinced he can make the grade if he carries on his top-flight education as he has done so far.

Benitez said: "If he can improve a lot during these months -- I am sure he will continue improving -- you never know. He's not now in the squad, but if they have a couple of problems, maybe he could be there.

"But to have a chance to do that, he has to continue working hard and improving.''

The likes of Gary Cahill, John Stones and Phil Jones have provided the backbone of Southgate's defence in recent months with Michael Keane, Harry Maguire and Ben Gibson among those to have come under consideration.

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