Allan Saint-Maximin was passed fit yesterday despite being touch and go after suffering a calf injury against Tottenham last week.
The Frenchman’s availability, along with Steve Bruce deploying a back five with Emil Krafth and Danny Rose filling in at center-back, meant the Valentino Lazaro was forced into another late cameo appearance at Brighton.
Lazaro has been handed only a total of 490 minutes of football across two competitions at Newcastle. That’s far from what he would have expected when he chose to come to Tyneside over a move to RB Leipzig in January.
After getting a couple of starts in February, they dried up after the lockdown with Bruce giving him just one start since the league returned in June. That was at Manchester City where the Austrian was hardly going to be able to show what he’s got.
Steve Bruce said the following about Valentino’s obvious disappointment at his lack of opportunities since coming on loan:
“I think he’s just getting used to playing in the Premier League, but now it’s finishing. I’m sure he’ll be disappointed with the amount of game time he’s had, but, look up until two or three games ago, the team were playing very, very well, and he couldn’t find his way into it.
“So it’s been difficult for the boy, but I still like him as a player and as a lad. He’ll look at the game time, and think he hasn’t had enough.”
The Chronicle is reporting that Valentino is having second thoughts about staying at Newcastle beyond our season finale on Sunday. Though talks will be held next week about his future.
This is what Lee Ryder writes in his report:
Valentino Lazaro is facing crunch talks with Newcastle United next week with the player having second thoughts about signing on a permanent basis.
Chronicle Live understands on-loan Inter Milan winger is unhappy and frustrated by the lack of game-time and may explore other options when the window opens at the end of the month.
Newcastle probably won’t trigger Lazaro’s £20m purchase clause but could try to sort some other arrangement for next season. However, we just don’t see Valentino wanting to stay after being inexplicably excluded for much of the run-in.
He’s had some thrilling moments off the bench of late including a magnificent goal against Bournemouth. It’s just a shame we haven’t been able to see more of the winger in what will likely be his only season at Newcastle.