When Achraf Lazaar played in the FA Cup at Birmingham 11 days ago in the 1-1 draw. he had a ver good game playing as a left wing-back.
His future at Newcastle is probably as a winger rather than as a full-back, so maybe Rafa will play him in that position tonight with Massadio Haidara probably coming in at left back.
Achraf to his credit has been very patent after only playing six times for Newcastle since he signed for us from Palermo last August.
Every time he’s played it’s obvious this lad has talent and he has a great left foot.
Achraf Lazaar with Rafa Benitez after signing for Newcastle
And because of his inactivity at Newcastle he did not make the Moroccan squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, so that will be a disappointment for him.
But the lad is still upbeat and positive – and he has been talking to the Italian website Tutto Mercato Web (TMW) and this is some of what the 24 year-old had to say:
“I’m fine with the group, and at the club.” ”We are winning so much and you know: Never change a winning team.”
“So I’m finding little space as a professional.”
“I try to show my qualities. I know what I’m worth and where I can get.”
“But me no. I’m good at Newcastle. I’ve heard of some teams, I’m glad – but I’m happy here and I want to be a leader.”
With Newcastle having picked up a few injuries recently this is a good chance for Achraf to show what he can for the side – starting tonight in the 3rd round replay against Birmingham City.
This is the team we think Rafa could start tonight:
Yedlin Lascelles (c) Hanley Haidara
Ritchie Perez Lazaar