Valentino Lazaro has responded to questions about his Newcastle United future during an interview with the club’s official matchday programme.
The 24-year-old completed a loan move from Inter Milan in January – which reportedly includes an ‘option to buy’ for around £20m – however there’s been conflicting reports when it comes to a potential permanent deal this summer.
A few Italian outlets have suggested he has every intention of returning to the San Siro to fight for his future, however his agent has hinted at an extended stay at St James’ Park after revealing how happy he’s been in England so far.
Here’s what Lazaro himself has had to say on the matter:
“I have had a lot of questions about summer already…but what I can say is that I’m fully focused here.
“I wouldn’t have come here if I wouldn’t be committed to the club.
“I’m happy to be here and just focus on that.“
“I’m not really thinking about just my own future right now.
“I want to help the club achieve their goals and, of course, show myself as well.”
Lazaro has looked the part when played in a more attacking role (he was superb at West Brom), but it’s difficult to know when we’ll see him next in a black and white shirt after the coronavirus pandemic forced the Premier League to bring all games to a halt last weekend.
The interview was intended to be released for the Newcastle United vs Sheffield United matchday programme, but the postponement of all Premier League games has meant it’s now been released on the club’s official website.
In the interview, the Austrian also discussed pictures of him on the Quayside, his love of ‘city life’, his first few games for the club and his goal at West Brom a few weeks ago:
“I thought it was a nice place to take a picture [on Newcastle Quayside]. You can see a bit from the city – you really know it’s Newcastle.
“I was always a big city kid – I loved to live in the city. I lived directly in the city [of Graz in Austria], next to a football pitch. Everything was very close – school, the city centre, and football. I just think I’ll never be like a country guy – I need some action around me, the city noises.
“In the world nowadays that we live in, everybody can give an opinion and you as a football player just have to be an extension of that, and just keep going.
“When I came here, I felt the support not just from the fans (but) from my teammates and from the coaches as well and I actually think I had a pretty good start here in training with my team, but then of course the first games came and we didn’t win. Then I had the red card [at Palace].
“I think I had a pretty good game as well until the red card. Then to not be able to play the next week at home [0-0 against Burnley] was a bit tough and now I’m more than happy to be back.
“It was definitely not the best goal [his first NUFC goal at West Brom] but sometimes you just have to make the run and just be there. That’s what happened and, in the end, it came out important because we still conceded two goals. I was very happy after that game.“
Normally we’d be waiting to see if he earns a permanent deal, but some are naturally wondering how his loan move (which is currently due to expire in June) will work out if the league season is put back due to the current suspension in place.
Let’s hope football returns sooner rather than later and Lazaro can pick up from where he left off after some eye-catching displays down the right wing.