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Puzzle remains as to what happened with ‘Scorpion’ Valentino Lazaro at Newcastle – Watch this goal!

11 months ago

After last (2019/20) season ended and ahead of the current one starting, Max Hagmayr questioned Steve Bruce’s treatment of Valentino Lazaro.

The player’s agent saying it was a mystery as to why Bruce refused to play the winger, after Newcastle successfully signed him on loan in January despite competition from other clubs.

When signing on a loan deal with a permanent buying price clause, Valentino Lazaro said a big reason for choosing Newcastle United was to get regular first team football, turning down Leipzig primarily, because they were competing at the time for both the the Bundesliga and Champions League and so no guarantee of much game time.

The reality at Newcastle United was very different to what Valentino Lazaro had been expecting and indeed, almost certainly, told would be the case (in terms of first team opportunities).

His best position on the wing, though having played as a wing-back as well previously on the continent, Valentino Lazaro found himself bewildered by both the low number of opportunities AND where he was selected to play.

Lazaro was given only four Premier League starts and these were away at Arsenal, Palace and Man City, plus home to Liverpool. In all four games he was effectively playing as a defender, very different to playing as an attacking wing-back as was the case in Austria, Germany and Italy, and VERY different to his natural best position as a winger.

At the end of last season, Steve Bruce was asked about whether he was looking to keep Valentino Lazaro for the 2020/21 season:

“It has been really difficult because of the lockdown situation.

“He [Valentino Lazaro] probably hasn’t played as much as he would like.

“I think he is just getting used to playing in the Premier League but now it’s finishing.

“I’m sure he’ll be disappointed with the amount of game time he has had but look, up until two or three games ago, the team were playing very, very well and he couldn’t find his way into it.

“Lazaro hasn’t had the game time but I’ve been quietly pleased with him.”

FCInterNews interview with Max Hagmayr, agent of Valentino Lazaro – 20 August 2020:

“After the difficulties of the last six months in England [at Newcastle United] post-Covid, it was important for me to find a new experience for the boy where he could have perspective.

“Spanish, Italian and other German teams were interested but we are convinced that Borussia Monchengladbach is the right club for Lazaro.”

Do you know what went wrong at Newcastle?

“When he arrived he was in the team.

“In the post-coronavirus, no.

“We do not know the reasons for this, nor why he no longer played frequently.

“From there we made our decision, we chose a new adventure.”

Steve Bruce’s treatment of Valentino Lazaro made no sense.

Bruce admitted that at Newcastle they knew they were safe from relegation after beating Southampton on 7 March 2020 pre-lockdown. It is clear Valentino Lazaro has ability going forward and the big question was could he do it in the Premier League and earn a permanent deal at Newcastle, yet Steve Bruce only played him as a starter twice after restart and they were against Man City and Liverpool, two games where he was guaranteed to have to defend the entire game.

Bruce admits Newcastle were safe so why didn’t he play Valentino Lazaro as a winger against the likes of Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Watford and Brighton? Give him a proper go and see what he could do? Instead, in those four games Lazaro only got 16 minutes in total as a sub.

My feeling is, that Steve Bruce didn’t have a clue where and how to play Valentino Lazaro, which begs the question of who decided to sign the winger?

It was quite amazing that journalists and Steve Bruce were still talking about Valentino Lazaro as a possible permanent NUFC signing in the summer, when Steve Bruce had shown so little interest in playing him, despite so many meaningless games AND not having a clue how to use him when he had started the odd time.

Moving to Borussia Monchengladbach this on loan for this current season, Valentino Lazaro has been ruled out through injury most of the time but just over a week ago made his first Bundesliga appearance for his loan club as a late sub in the 1-0 win over Leipzig.

Then yesterday (Sunday), Valentino Lazaro got the final 27 minutes in a 4-3 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen but came up with this extraordinary goal in added time.

It would have been interesting to see if Lazaro could have produced in forward positions in the Premier League for Newcastle United but sadly Steve Bruce never even gave him a chance.

Quite bizarre, although you could say that about a lot of what the NUFC Head Coach does.


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