Manager Alan Pardew has hailed Newcastle United’s double-signing of Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles.
Although both players will remain at Nottingham Forest for the duration of the 2014-15 season, it is understood they were high on the priority list of transfer targets for Pardew this summer. Indeed, Reds manager Stuart Pearce has made no secret of his disappointment at losing the duo, who have cost around £7million.
Central defender Lascelles came through the youth system at the City Ground and, after a loan spell at Stevenage during which he made seven League One appearances, he broke into Forest’s first team last term and featured 34 times in all competitions, and scored three goals. The 20-year-old, who stands at 6ft 2in, has also been capped by England at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 level.
Goalkeeper Darlow is another product of the Nottingham club’s youth system, and after taking in loan spells at Newport County and Walsall (twice), he was installed as Forest’s number one choice in January 2013 and has gone on to make a total of 67 appearances in all competitions for the Championship club.
“It is a real coup to have signed two of the finest young talents in English football outside of the Premier League,” Pardew told the official club website. “Jamaal and Karl will be a big part of the future of this club. They have both performed outstandingly in the Championship over the last couple of years and I have no doubt they will be able step up to this level once they return from their loan at Nottingham Forest.”
Having previously felt he had been restricted in the transfer market, Pardew will be pleased at the business he has been able to conduct this summer. As well as adding Lascelles and Darlow to his options with one eye on the future, he has also brought in players who he will expect to make an immediate impact, such as Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere, Siem de Jong, Daryl Janmaat and Jack Colback.
Newcastle begin their Premier League campaign next Sunday afternoon, when St James’ Park plays host to champions Manchester City.