When Moroccan International left-back Achraf Lazaar signed for us back in August he had turned down Italian club Fiorentina to join second division Newcastle and he seemed delighted to sign for Rafa Benitez’ side.
At the time of his signing he said he was pleased that Rafa had called him personally and told him he knew all about him from his contacts in Italy – and that he wanted the 24 year-old to join him on his “project” at Newcastle United.
Achraf Lazaar and Rafa Benitez in late August
But since then we have seen very little of Achraf in the first team and he has played only twice, with local lad Paul Dummett being the starting left back for almost the whole season.
But Achraf is still happy with things on Tyneside and he has been interviewed today in the Chronicle:
“I am very happy here. This is a very good team with an excellent manager.”
“We are playing good games and there is a very good group of guys. At the training ground, we have a good atmosphere.”
“For me, this is one of the most important clubs in England, in the top seven in the country. That’s why I came here.”
“I signed here because it’s my dream to play for a big club in England. I need to stick with my dream.”
“I will give my all for this team and I hope to give the fans 100% and show how good I am.”
“When I left I had two or three offers for a transfer. It was very difficult to decide where I should go next in my career.”
“Then Newcastle offered me a chance to sign for them. The manager called me and told me all the good things about this club.”
“It was always my dream to play in England. Newcastle are a big team and have a big name.”
There’s no doubt that with Rafa at the head of things at Newcastle we are again a draw for good players and Rafa is also famous for his persuasive powers.
Lazaar will be one for the future and he looks a good player and we’re sure Rafa has talked to him about how he plans to use him this season and in the future.
But players like to play games and certainly Lazaar has not played too many games for the club since he signed on in August.
But it does show Rafa’s excellent man-management skills that he is keeping the players happy, when there is huge competition for places at Newcastle this season.
That has to be good for the club.
What do you think?