Newcastle United v Manchester City - FA Cup: Quarter Final
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Ex-Newcastle loanee Valentino Lazaro to play v Liverpool

Former Newcastle United loanee Valentino Lazaro has progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals with Benfica. The Portuguese side beat Ajax 3-2 on aggregate, with a goal from Toon target Darwin Nunez.

The Austrian had a brief stint on Tyneside back in 2020. He joined in January on a half-season loan from Inter Milan (BBC Sport). The 25-year-old was often played as a full-back and a wing-back but occasionally played on the wing. Lazaro netted twice for the Magpies, against West Brom in the FA Cup and another against Bournemouth in the league.

This season he was loaned out by Inter again, this time joining Benfica. He’s made 15 appearances this season and four of them in the Champions League. The majority of his appearances came in the group stage as a substitute.

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Who’s next for Lazaro and Benfica?

In the draw for the quarter-finals, Benfica were drawn against Liverpool. Some Newcastle fans will be keeping an eye on Darwin Nunez to see how he fares.

The Reds will be the favourites going into the tie, but they won’t be taking them lightly. Benfica were underdogs against Ajax in the last round and caused an upset.

Although he hasn’t had much of an impact on Benfica’s Champions League form, Lazaro will look to change that. He showed glimpses of quality at Newcastle. He was unlucky not to get more game time, especially as a winger.

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Perhaps we’ll see him make an impact off the bench and be the cause of an unlikely upset. Since he left Newcastle, he has had moments that have shown what he’s capable of. Lazaro netted a wonder goal whilst on loan for, when he was on loan for Bourissa Monchengladbach he provided a sensational scorpion kick in June 2021.

So keep an eye out for the ex-loanee over the two legs. He might not be a consistent starter for Benfica but he may get the opportunity to shine on the big stage.

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