Jamaal Lascelles positive injury update as he reflects on a remarkable year at Newcastle
Jamaal Lascelles is determined to lead Newcastle United up the table when he returns to fitness.
The defender is closing in on a comeback from injury.
Newcastle were as high as sixth in the Premier League before Lascelles suffered an ankle problem.
Lascelles – who led Newcastle to the Championship title last season – was voted “New Hero of the Year 2017” by MOTDmag.com readers.
And the 24-year-old is hoping for another memorable year.
Asked about his aspirations for 2018 by Match of the Day magazine, Lascelles said: “I’d like to take this club as high as I can first and foremost, and then for me, individually, a call-up (for England) would be nice.
“I’m still young, and I’ll always keep listening, keep learning, and hopefully a call-up can happen.”
On his memories of the past 12 months, Lascelles said: “The massive standout moment was lifting the Championship trophy.
“As a kid, I could never have dreamed of lifting a trophy, especially for a club like this. That’s probably one of the biggest moments of my life.
“Since then things have been going pretty well for me personally. I had a little dip with my injury, but I’ll be back out soon.”
Meanwhile, Lascelles has told how he helped an ex-marine who had lost his legs after he fell out of his wheelchair.
A Facebook user revealed last week how Lascelles had spotted an amputee in difficulty outside a restaurant.
The 24-year-old took him into Japanese eatery Hanahana and bought him drinks before giving him his gloves and paying for a taxi to take him home.
“The other day me and my girlfriend went to Hanahana for some food, and as I was pulling up there was a guy kind of falling out of his wheelchair,” said Lascelles.
“I went over and helped him and his wheelchair had broken, so I was trying to fix that. I couldn’t fix it. I felt really bad, because he was with his girlfriend or wife.
“I think she was pregnant too. I felt really bad for him so I thought ‘OK, I’ll try and get him in my car and I’ll give him a lift home’.
“My car’s quite high up, so I didn’t know what to do, so I said ‘come inside the restaurant’.
“I got him a few drinks, I was chatting to him and I rang him a taxi that could take people with wheelchairs. That came, I got him in there and said ‘I’ll get you a few tickets’.
“I gave him my gloves, gave him £20 for the taxi.
“It just makes you wake up and think we’re in a really fortunate position as footballers. We get things handed to us.
“Obviously, we’ve had to work hard to get ourselves to this situation, but he went to work one day and his legs were blown off.
“It just makes you think about how fortunate we are as footballers. We don’t have anything to moan about at all.” l Read Jamaal’s message to the fans in Match of the Day’s Christmas issue – out now!