Jamaal Lascelles expressed his desire to lead Newcastle back to the Premier League after he was appointed club captain for the forthcoming season.

The Championship newcomers made the announcement yesterday, just a day before they get their league campaign under way against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The 22-year-old has played 21 times for the club since moving to St James’ Park from Nottingham Forest in 2014, scoring twice.

Lascelles captained Rafael Benitez’s side during pre-season and is thrilled to have been handed the armband on a permanent basis following the departure of Fabricio Coloccini.

He told nufc.co.uk: “It’s an unbelievable feeling for a manager like Rafa Benitez to give me the captain’s armband at a club like this.

“It is a lot of responsibility for a young player but I will always give my all because I want what is best for the team and the club.

“It is such a proud moment for me and the biggest in my career so far.

“It is nice for someone to show that much trust in you, and I want to repay the manager’s faith by leading this team back into the Premier League.”

Benitez could give debuts to several players this evening after bringing in eight new faces this summer.

These new signings include striker Dwight Gayle, winger Matt Ritchie and defender Grant Hanley.

Championship

Playing today: 20.45 Fulham vs Newcastle.
Tomorrow: 16.00 Birmingham vs Cardiff; Blackburn Rovers vs Norwich City; Bristol City vs Wigan Athletic; Derby County vs Brighton; Huddersfield vs Brentford; Ipswich vs Barnsley; Nottm Forest vs Burton; Reading vs  Preston; Rotherham vs Wolves.
Sunday: 13.00 QPR vs Leeds; 17.30 Sheff. Wednesday vs Aston Villa.

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