By Harvey Byrne

Jamaal Lascelles has revealed that he wants to be made the official Newcastle captain next season.

The 22-year-old has been handed the captain’s armband during the Magpies pre-season matches this summer.

The youngster is aware of the responsibility that comes with being the club captain, a position that Toon legend Alan Shearer had for eight years between 1998 and 2006, but is confident he can handle it.

“I’d love to take it on the responsibility. Obviously it would be a massive weight on my shoulders, but there’s no reason why I can’t deal with it,” said Lascelles to the Shield Gazette.

“I’m really proud to wear it. Whoever he decides to pick at the start of the season, it’s totally fine, and I’ll back him up.”

Newcastle chopped and changed captains last season, with Fabricio Coloccini, Moussa Sissoko and Jonjo Shelvey all donning the armband.

Lascelles is believed to have caught Benitez’ eye towards the end of last season after becoming a big voice in the dressing room.

He also made forthright public comments which went down well with supporters frustrated at the lack of fight from the players before a late rally that ultimately proved to be in vain.

The St James’ Park club are looking to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and have made a number of high profile signings this summer, including Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden stepping down from the top-flight to join the north east club.

In other Newcastle team news, Jamie Sterry is pushing for first team involvement in the Championship next season with the Toon.