Lazaro reveals what’s impressed him about Joelinton – “I’ve known Joe for years..”

Valentino Lazaro has defended Joelinton’s lack of goals, revealing how impressed he’s been by the Brazilian’s work-rate and unselfishness in attack.

The former Hoffenheim star, who he appears to know well from their time together in Germany, has scored just three goals all season – an unacceptable tally for his £40m price tag – but Lazaro has urged fans to stick with the 23-year-old

Here’s what the Inter Milan loanee has had to say, praising the forward’s ability to create space for others and work hard – on and off the ball – for the team:

“You always have the saying the striker is judged by his goals, but you can see by the way we play he is working so much.

“And he is helping us in a lot of ways. So we really need Joelinton upfront.

“Joe worked so hard along with the whole team.

“I have known Joe for years now.

“When you play the long balls, he is just always there, he goes deep, he is very quick, he is very tall. He can secure the ball.

“He is working, and impressing defensively as well. With the runs he makes it creates a lot of space.

“He was running to other positions so I had the space to go there and score my goal against West Brom.

“He is definitely bringing a lot to the team.”

We need him to show more quality in front of goal, but he deserves real credit for his all round performance and clever assist in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over West Brom.

Lazaro – who speaks very well from the interviews we’ve seen from him so far – has also urged the team to keep attacking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.

Here’s what he’s had to say about our FA Cup win, our front-foot approach in recent weeks and his switch from right wing-back to right winger:

“It’s a cup and anything is possible, we are trying to go as far as possible.

“There’s not a lot of games and you can have a title at the end of it.

“You have to believe but at the same time we haven’t scored a lot of goals in the past few weeks…so this cup game is very important for us, it’s a win and we are through to the next round.

“Three goals is very good for the team’s confidence and I hope we can transfer this to the Premier League.

“I have always said my strength is in the attack but over the past two or three years I’ve learnt a lot defensively as well. I’m better with the ball at my feet and going forwards.

“I’m happy I got to play that position.

“I’m very proud of the team, we came out and we showed want to be in the next round and scored some goals to.

“We had a lot of chances, we played good football and maybe could have scored even more goals.

“But three goals is not bad for a team like this, we haven’t scored a lot of last few weeks but we are very happy about this win.

“If we keep working and create chances we can hopefully score more goals in the Premier League.”

Hopefully we can now kick on and continue to carry a greater threat ahead of some crucial Premier League games against Southampton, Sheffield United and Bournemouth, with Lazaro, ASM, Almiron and Joelinton all seeming to thrive as a result of our switch to 4-2-3-1.

With Joelinton in dire need of confidence (and goals!) and Lazaro needing to impress between now and mid May if he wants to sign permanently, let’s hope both can kick on after impressive displays on Tuesday.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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