By Harvey Byrne

Alan Shearer has issued his congratulations to Jamaal Lascelles after the defender was appointed the new Newcastle captain on Thursday.

The club revealed on their official website that the 22-year-old will lead the Magpies into their opening game of the Championship season against Fulham on Friday evening.

Shearer was the captain of the Magpies between 1998 and 2006 and he has offered his support in the wake of manager Rafa Benitez’ decision.

“Congratulations and good luck for the season captain,” said the Match of the Day pundit on his personal Twitter account.

Lascelles now follows in the footsteps of the likes of Shearer, hard hitting defender Brian Kilcline and arguarbly the club’s greatest ever captain Bobby Moncur.

The young centre-back arrived on Tyneside from Nottingham Forest in 2014, but was loaned straight back to the club before the defender eventually made his Newcastle debut last season in the League Cup against Northampton Town.

Despite the club’s relegation last season, Lascelles impressed with his leadership and strength of character, which has prompted the manager to hand an important role to the youngster.

Benitez will now head into the Championship opener with a healthy team selection headache after adding nine players to his squad this summer, most recently the additions of Hull midfielder Mo Diame and Aston Villa centre-back Ciaran Clark.

In other Newcastle team news, manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that an unnamed manager has been calling him all summer about signing Ayoze Perez.