It looks like one of our on-loan players – Achraf Lazaar – will not play at Benevento again through the rest of the season because he was excluded from their League squad for the second half of the season.
That was to make a place for Bacary Sagna, who was signed as a free agent in January by the Serie A club and room had to be made for him in the squad.
The Serie A club decided to replace Achraf Lazaar with Sagna, who is an experienced 65 times capped French International.
Sagna played seven years at Arsenal and then three years at Manchester City.
Achraf Lazaar and Rafa Benitez in happier times – August 2016
Rafa tried to help, but he couldn’t do anything about it.
This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle today about the situation:
“I feel for him. When you go away and you think everything is fine it is hard.”
“He was injured for some time and that went against him. We can’t change anything now. We are aware of him but we can’t do anything.”
“I was talking with his agent the other day. We know about his situation but we can’t find a solution.”
“They signed Bacary Sagna and they needed one position changed. Sagna is a player with experience and they decided on him (Lazaar) not being in the squad.”
“It’s something that we can’t control. We have signed Kenedy so we couldn’t bring him back.”
These things can happen in football, but it’s a blow for Lazaar and a blow for Newcastle.
Benevento will not be taking up the £3M option to buy – that was included in Lazaar’s loan contract.
Newcastle will try to sell the Moroccan International in the summer or loan him out again – hopefully with better luck next season.