Back in August, former NUFC loanee Valentino Lazaro completed a loan move to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Interestingly, The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder revealed soon after that the Austrian “turned down” a return to Newcastle United due to a “lack of first team assurances”.
Almost four months later, it’s VERY easy to see why he chose the high-flying Bundesliga side over a reunion with Steve Bruce – a manager who showed a bizarre reluctance to play the clearly talented Inter Milan man.
After a early-season injury, Lazaro is now featuring regularly for a Borussia Monchengladbach side that will reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League should they avoid defeat at Real Madrid tonight.
Lazaro has started in three of their last four games, as well as scoring a stunner against Bayer Leverkusen, bagging an assist in their Champions League draw with Inter Milan and playing most of their 4-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk a few weeks ago.
It’s easy to say now, but I always felt he looked lively and likely to make something happen during his brief spell at St James’ Park, showing glimpses of pace, quality and urgency on the odd occasion he features for more than five minutes.
Lee Ryder’s reaction to his recent return to Germany suggested we tried to bring him back on another loan deal, however it’s become pretty clear that he made the right decision, sadly.
In his final two away outings for NUFC he was brought on for a combined 7 minutes at Brighton and Watford, yet tonight he’s set to start in a Champions League decider at the Bernabeu. Spot the difference!