Arsenal are ready to step up their interest in the highly rated Nottingham Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles, according to reports in Daily Mirror.
The 20 year old has been impressive for Forest since making his debut in the 2011/12 season and has been capped at every youth level for England.
The report states that Arsene Wenger sent his chief scout Steve Rowley to watch Forest play out a 1-1 draw away to Bolton in which Lascelles played all 90 minutes. The trip was merely an update for Wenger, who has already sent representatives to watch the Englishman a number of times over the last few years.
The Gunners have been forced to play Bacary Sagna out of position several times this season which has forced Wenger to look out for an extra centre back as he currently has just three recognised defenders to fill the position.
Lascelles was born in Derby and was reportedly subject to a bid of £5 million from the Gunners back in January 2011. His career got off to a slow start after that transfer gossip. He made his league debut for the club in January 2012 but was swiftly loaned out to League One Stevenage. He signed a new four-year deal upon his return to Forest.
His impact has been curtailed due to injury problems at the end of last season after signing a new deal at the City Ground, the centre back has finally carved out a place in Forest’s first team after injuries to Kelvin Wilson and Danny Collins.
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This season he has been part of a defence that has been one of the tightest in the division as they lost just once in last 10 matches. He has also been consistently involved in the England set-up, making appearances at both U-18 and U-19 level.
He stands at 6 ft 2 in and his aerial presence is a real asset. He has fended off the majority of strikers in a division as physical as the Championship which has been particularly impressive. He is also strong in making tough tackles and for a defender of such a young age, he is strong physically. He has great pace and prefers to play short passes into midfield rather than look long.
He has all the hallmarks of a typical Arsenal player and has massive potential. However with Forest pushing for promotion, it would take a big bid to convince them to sell halfway through the season.
Should we sign this young prospect? Share your thoughts in the comments below.