Valentino Lazaro has paid tribute to the support he has received from Newcastle United fans, players and staff since he completed his mid-season loan move from Inter Milan.
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The Austria international only joined the Serie A giants last summer but started just four matches under Antonio Conte. Eager to get some game time ahead of Euro 2020 – the tournament was only postponed earlier this week because of the coronavirus pandemic – Lazaro decided he needed to go out on loan.
Champions League quarter-finalists RB Leipzig were among those sides interested and Lazaro already had the experience of playing in the Bundesliga from his time at Hertha Berlin. However, the player’s agent, Max Hagmayr, previously told Chronicle Live how Steve Bruce ‘gave the boy a very good feeling’.
Hagmaier, who attended Newcastle’s 1-0 win against Chelsea back in January as part of a fact-finding mission, was also impressed by how the head of recruitment Steve Nickson ‘introduced the club’ and how much the Magpies already knew about his client. Lazaro, who quickly found an apartment in the city, has certainly had an eventful couple of months on Teesside.
After being sent off on his first start for the club, against Crystal Palace, the 23-year-old went on to score his first goal for Newcastle a week-and-a-half later in the win at West Brom. No one quite knows what will happen next – professional football in England has been suspended until at least April 30 – but Lazaro has certainly enjoyed his spell so far.
“When I came here, I felt the support not just from the fans (but) from my team-mates and from the coaches as well, he told the club’s programmer. 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 a red card.”
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 was a bit tough.
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