An update has emerged regarding Newcastle’s interest in Valentino Lazaro.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, as transcribed by Sport Witness, Newcastle are weighing up a permanent swoop for Valentino Lazaro. The report claims that the midfielder, who was signed by Inter for £20.16m in 2019, is in talks over a return to Tyneside.
Mike Ashley risks making a heinous error over Lazaro and must opt against bringing the 25-year-old back to the club ahead of next season. The Inter flop was dismal during his time on loan at St James’ Park and has not done enough since that spell to suggest that he would be able to make an impact this time around. Therefore, Ashley must pull out of any negotiations and look elsewhere in the market to bolster Steve Bruce’s squad.
Lazaro averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.21 in 13 Premier League appearances in 2020, averaging only 1.2 tackles and interceptions and 0.2 aerial battles won per game despite playing in defence and in midfield. This suggests that he was not physically able to compete in England and that he was unable to truly demonstrate any qualities he might have on the ball.
Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson berated Lazaro during his time in England, criticising a “horror showing” from the Austrian against Arsenal in February 2020.
The pundit told Sky Sports, via Chronicle Live: “His body shape was all wrong when you are defending in there.
“[After watching Bukayo Saka nutmeg Lazaro] Do I feel sorry for players like that?
“He is giving him the opportunity because he is so square on. He doesn’t jockey him or show him the line, he literally gave him the opportunity to do that for him.
“It was a horror showing.”
Has anything changed in the subsequent 12 months? Lazaro spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany and there was a slight improvement. He averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.52 in the Bundesliga across 22 appearances, which is still disappointing despite being an increase on what he managed in England.
Lazaro could easily flop at Newcastle again if the club decide to bring him back for round two this summer. They must avoid signing him from Inter and should scour the globe to find targets who may have a greater chance of succeeding in black and white in the Premier League, as Lazaro has already shown that he is not up to the requisite standard.