Steve Bruce believes Valentino Lazaro brought ‘balance’ to the Newcastle United attack at West Brom, praising the Austrian’s ‘movement and touch’.
The Inter Milan loanee was criticised for his errors at Arsenal and late red at Crystal Palace, but he showed glimpses of quality in both games – and proved what a talented player he really is at the Hawthorns.
Not only did he bag what proved to be an all important goal to make it 0-3, he looked sharp on and off the ball, did everything quickly and showed quality throughout with some clever flicks and neat passing.
Here’s what Steve Bruce had to say after the game, picking the January loan signing out for special praise:
“I thought Tino [Lazaro] gave us nice balance on the right hand side.
“His movement and touch was good.
“I was delighted
“For an hour we played brilliantly against a very decent side.
“The front four have been criticised but it was nice to see them play with a bit of freedom.
“Maybe the change in system suits them.
“Certainly in the last couple of games we’ve looked more of a threat which is important.”
A win to take us into the quarter finals of the FA Cup was the overwhelming positive from the game, but Lazaro’s performance was great to see, proving what he’s capable of doing when we get him into good areas.
I still maintain he’s capable of playing at wing-back – with him looking energetic and switched on – but perhaps Bruce will continue to play both him and Saint-Maximin wide of Miguel Almiron in the coming weeks, leaving Joelinton and Gayle to fight it out up top.
An accomplished performance from the Inter Milan loanee and hopefully the first of many – which it’ll need to be if we plan to trigger the £20m ‘option to buy’ this summer!