Thursday morning has seen Newcastle United confirm Jamaal Lascelles as the club captain for the new season.
After starting all five friendlies with the armband, the former Forets player always looked the front runner.
However, in Grant Hanley, Rafa looked to have potentially brought in a ready made leader.
Newcastle United Official Statement:
‘Jamaal Lascelles has been appointed Newcastle United’s captain for the 2016/17 season.
The 22-year-old defender wore the armband for all five of the Magpies’ pre-season friendlies and will now lead the Club into their Sky Bet Championship campaign, which kicks off at Fulham on Friday night.
Lascelles joined United in the summer of 2014 from Nottingham Forest, where he had come through the youth set-up to start his career.
He returned to the City Ground immediately, spending the entire 2014/15 season on loan at his former club to aid his development.
The centre-back became a regular in the Newcastle side during the second half of last term, particularly following the arrival of manager Rafa Benitez, and has made 21 appearances for the Club to date, scoring two goals.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling for a manager like Rafa Benitez to give me the captain’s armband at a club like this,” said Lascelles.
“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.”
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez added: “We have a few players now in the squad who have the character to be captain, but Jamaal has proven himself to be a leader and a big personality in the dressing room and on the pitch.
“At the end of last season he really developed as a character and a man.
“I am pleased that Jamaal will be our captain, but I have also said to other players that they must too show their character, strength and leadership qualities to support the team.”