Nottingham Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles is learning to cope with the pressure of being the club’s most highly-rated prospect.
The England youth international, 20, has been a standout performer for the Reds this season, tallying three goals in 32 appearances in all competitions for the promotion hopefuls.
Lascelles, who is contracted to the City Ground until 30 June 2018, is valued at around £5 million and has emerged as a transfer target for a number of top English clubs, including the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, in recent times.
The 20-year-old defender was previously linked with Everton in 2010 but nothing — other than a £45,000 fine handed down by the English Football Association for an ‘unauthorised approach’ for the player — materialised.
The never-ending speculation has placed a great deal of pressure on Lascelles but he is slowly but surely learning to cope with the attention.
“There has been a lot of talk about me since I was young and that does add pressure,” Lascelles told the Nottingham Post. “People think to themselves ‘he must be good, if a club like that want him’.
“I used to think about it quite a lot when I was younger. It did influence me mentally, quite a bit. It is more pressure.
“People were talking about Arsenal wanting me for £5 million. When I played, I felt as though I needed to be a £5 million player. If I didn’t play well, I felt as though people would be saying ‘he is not worth that’.
“I’m used to it now and don’t take any notice, I’m able to concentrate on my football.”
Where will Lascelles ply his trade next season? Arsenal? Chelsea? Liverpool? Nottingham?
Terry nears new Chelsea deal
Chelsea captain John Terry is close to agreeing personal terms on a new contract at Stamford Bridge, according to Blues’ assistant coach Steve Holland.
Terry has been absolutely superb for Chelsea this season but could not prevent Sunderland from scoring twice and handing Jose Mourinho his first-ever home defeat in the Premier League (78 matches).
Reports have suggested the club have offered the 33-year-old, who has anchored the best defence in England’s top-flight this term, a new contract worth half his current weekly-wages.
“John has had an outstanding season; we have the best defensive record in the Premier League and he’s played in almost all of that and been a major part of it all,” said Holland via Sky Sports.
“I know that John wants to stay at Chelsea, and Chelsea want John to stay, so hopefully that situation can be concluded amicably over the next few weeks.
“It’s the same situation [with Lampard and Cole], we’re dealing with not just normal players, but magnificent servants for this club over a long period.
“So full respect will be given for those players.”
Terry has tallied two goals and one assist in 43 competitive appearances for the Blues in 2013/14.
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