John Anderson unhappy with three Newcastle players; baffled by 24-year-old's absence

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on January 18, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

Newcastle United are sliding towards the Premier League drop zone with Nabil Bentaleb, Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro struggling under Steve Bruce.

Valentino Lazaro of Newcastle United FC (23) during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on February 22, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.

Newcastle United legend John Anderson has expressed his doubts about January signings Danny Rose, Nabil Bentaleb and Valentino Lazaro while speaking to the BBC.

On paper at least, the three players to arrive at St James’ Park last month should have added some much-needed quality to Steve Bruce’s rather limited squad.

Lazaro only joined Inter Milan for £19 million last summer while Bentaleb and Rose have a combined 64 international caps and a wealth of Premier League experience on their CV. So far, however, the three newcomers have struggled to make an impression – at least, from a positive point of view.


Lazaro was bamboozled by Wilf Zaha during Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, picking up a straight red card for his troubles, while Rose and Bentaleb look like they have barely kicked a ball between them over the last few months after falling out of favour at Tottenham and Schalke.

"(Bruce) said he wasn't going to bring players in just for the sake of it, that the players that he brings in will be better than what we already have. Well, the three he has brought in in January haven't brought anything to the side,” said a scathing Anderson, a legendary defender who wore black and white from 1982 to 1992.

"Everything was done on his own time,” he added on Rose. “(He) never got involved, never got forward. Playing as a wing back, he did not get in advanced positions.Lazaro, on the other side, neat and tidy but again didn't do enough.

Nabil Bentaleb of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.

"Isaac Hayden must be sat there thinking 'is this guy doing anything that I didn't do?'. Isaac Hayden runs around and he gets in and about people and he puts tackles in. (Bentaleb), he doesn't do a great deal."

According to the Mirror (25 February, page 64), Bruce could return to his tried and tested ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley. Hayden and Matt Ritchie are expected to return, which could see Bentaleb and Rose dropped to the bench.

Danny Rose of Newcastle United control ball during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on February 22, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.

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