We are believed to have an ‘option to buy’ the Austrian for around £20m, with Italian reports claiming earlier this week that Inter Milan were ‘optimistic’ we’ll look to keep him at St James’ Park this summer – and Clark is clearly hoping we do so.
Speaking to Tribal Football, here’s what Clark’s had to say about Lazaro – believing he’s shown clear glimpses of quality in his four appearances so far:
“When Valentino Lazaro first came into the team, Steve Bruce was still playing with a 3-4-3 system.
“But since then the formation has changed to a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, and when he’s had his opportunities higher up the pitch, Lazaro has been another player who has looked exciting, with plenty of pace to go past players.
“Newcastle do have pace in the wide areas, with players who can go past fullbacks and enjoy attacking them.
“They’re not going to beat them all the time, but they have the positivity to have a go.
“Since the change of formation Lazaro hasn’t started a lot of games, but he has come on and certainly made an impact and contribution to the results they’ve got.
“It’s all up in the air if we’re going to play any more games this season, but if he gets those opportunities, I think there is certainly a player there that would be a good addition for next season to the group of players that are already there, without a doubt.”
He’s had a mixed time of things so far, making the odd mistake on his debut at Arsenal and being sent off the week after in our defeat to Crystal Palace, but he showed his class from a more advanced position in our FA Cup win over West Brom.
While he’s been caught out defensively the odd time, I believe he’s looked sharp going forward, showing clear pace, quick thinking and moments of quality when he’s got on the ball in attacking areas.
As things stand, it feels like a permanent deal for Rose is likely and that Lazaro’s situation is touch and go – while things look bleak for Bentaleb, who’s done very little to impress since arriving on loan from Schalke.
Have you seen enough from Lazaro to suggest he’s worth signing on a permanent deal this summer?