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Newcastle United bombed the Lazaro loan

Newcastle United has an opportunity to sign a player that would add crucial depth, and yet they’ve refused to play him.

Newcastle United Training Session Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Newcastle United has had some bizarre loans in the past where they’ve signed quality players but refused to play them consistently. They’ve then gone on to botch the signing of talented players such as Loic Remy, Salomon Rondon among others.

Then you have the situation with players like Valentino Lazaro who could very well suffer the same fate. Signing with Newcastle United on loan from Inter Milan in January, he came with a significant amount of hype. As an Inter Milan fan, I had previous knowledge of Valentino Lazaro, the position he played and just how talented he is as a player. Not seeing him play infuriated me as it was important at this stage in Lazaro’s career to get playing time to prove himself to Inter Milan he was worthy of a starting position, or even to Newcastle United that he was worth the money for them to buy him permanently. Instead, he’s getting neither.

It is still very possible that Newcastle United seek to do two things with Lazaro. They may seek to extend his loan through next season, and give him more opportunities then, however, that may not be ideal to Lazaro who cannot be guaranteed he will play after seeing how Bruce has handled his situation. Newcastle could also still attempt to end Lazaro’s loan with a purchase, because a clause is built in to the loan deal. It is more likely that the club extends the loan rather than an outright purchase, but as a fan of both clubs involved, I’m skeptical.

Valentino Lazaro, if given the opportunity to play more matches, would have been one of the biggest threats on the pitch for Newcastle this season. He makes for a quality fill-in for Miguel Almiron, and if necessary, he can easily be used in a defensive midfield role. He’s versatile and he’s a playmaker, everything you want in a footballer. I have no doubt that if he played more, Steve Bruce would be pining for the Austrian to be signed permanently. Instead of being pined for, he’s been riding the pine for Newcastle United since day one.

Any player who is around the age of Lazaro is at a point in their career where they either play as a starter, or they accept their fate as a substitute depth player. It is a crucial developmental stage for their game and to sign someone on loan and not use them, especially towards the end of the season where safety is guaranteed and you can afford to take more risks, shows you care little about their development.

Despite all of this, Lazaro is actually having talks with Newcastle United brass later this week about a permanent switch, although not mentioned in the media is the potential for a loan extension. If a permanent move is to be considered by the winger, he wants assurances of playing time. Antonio Conte is also making plans for Inter next season, and it is quite possible Conte can promise Lazaro far more playing time.

When asked about Lazaro’s playing time, Steve Bruce only had this to say about it:

“I think he’s 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’s had, but, look, up until two, three games ago, the team were playing very, very well, and he couldn’t find his way into it.”

I disagree with Bruce’s handling of that, but if Newcastle do go in to purchase the winger, it could be an expensive waste if they choose to not play him.