Valentino Lazaro started his first Newcastle game against Arsenal and it was certainly a game of two halves.

The Austrian enjoyed an impressive first 45, getting high up the pitch and causing the Gunners some problems. He was confident in possession, showing composure that has rarely been seen this season.

However, the second half was somewhat disastrous for the loanee.

(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The finger was pointed at Lazaro for Arsenal’s opening two goals, although some criticism is harsh.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rose above Lazaro to head home the opener, but it seemed naive of the experienced Federico Fernandez to pass the lethal forward onto his somewhat shorter teammate.

As for the second, Lazaro didn’t do enough to stop Bukayo Saka. But then again, neither did Nabil Bentaleb.

Lazaro was replaced in the 74th minute, and a lot of fans think he’s being used in the wrong position.

(Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s clear that he has a lot to offer offensively, but his defending certainly left a lot to be desired.

Steve Bruce must be aware of his new recruit’s struggles in defence. If he wants to get more out of Lazaro, he needs to play him higher up the pitch.

That way he can influence the game in the right areas whilst having a more reliable defensive option behind him.

 

A mixed bag from Lazaro, but is he really a defender?

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