Achraf Lazaar has made just one appearance for Newcastle since joining us from Palermo in August, after he turned down an offer from Fiorentina to join them.
The 16 times capped Moroccan International wanted to join Rafa Benitez at Newcastle and he was delighted to sign on at the famous Tyneside club.
The 24 year-old played the full game at left-back on 20th September in the 2-0 win against Wolves in the EFL Cup, but has not seen first team action since then.
Achraf Lazaar with Rafa Benitez after signing
Lazaar hasn’t played at all in the Championship and Rafa Benitez has recently explained why that has been the case.
Rafa has talked about the status of the player who came through Varese’s youth system once he moved to Italy with his parents from Casablanca back in 2003:
This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle:
“He needs to understand English football.” “He has the potential.”
“He has to adapt to the pace and the physicality, all of these things.” “But he is getting closer.”
As we said earlier Lazaar was delighted to join Newcastle and these are just some of his words after signing along the dotted line:
“I am very happy to be at Newcastle United.” “I’m proud to sign here because Newcastle is a great team in England.”
Lazaar played 42 times with one goal and one assist for Varese before he moved to Palermo in 2014, where he made 73 total appearances with 3 goals and 6 assists.
But he only stayed there a couple of years before Rafa persuaded him to join Newcastle in England’s second division.
Local lad Paul Dummett currently occupies the left-back position at Newcastle, but once Achraf adjusts to English football Paul will have his work cut out to keep the left-back starting position.
And that’s exactly what Rafa Benitez wants – competition for places all over the pitch – it’s great for the team.