As revealed by the Chronicle this morning, NUFC full-back Achraf Lazaar has been ‘frozen out’ at Serie A side Benevento by new boss Roberto De Zerbia, with him now set to face the next 4 and a half months on the sidelines before returning to pre-season training with Newcastle in July.
Italian reports have revealed that the new Benevento manager ‘does not rate’ Lazaar and has ‘concerns’ over his fitness, seeing him kicked off the Serie A side’s roster to accommodate the free agent signing of former Arsenal and Man City defender Bacary Sagna.
The Moroccan had been getting fairly regular game time under initial boss Marco Baroni, playing 9 of their first 11 games, however his sacking in October saw De Zerbia come in – and to say it’s gone down hill from here for Lazaar is an understatement.
Since his appointment he missed 7 straight games via a ‘knee injury’ and has been named on the bench just twice, failing to play a single minute for the bottom of the table Serie A side since mid November.
It sounds like the arrival of a new manager and the experienced Bacary Sagna hasn’t helped his cause, however this all sounds a little familiar too. The left-back played just over half an hour of Championship football all season after he arrived from Palermo in the summer of 2016, suggesting Rafa clearly didn’t like what he was seeing upon his arrival.
Since arriving at #NUFC in pre season of 2016/17 (Championship winning season) Lazaar hasn’t started a single league game for the Toon (only 4 sub apps). He started 5 FA & League Cup games.
Hard to see him getting anywhere near Rafa’s current squad/1st team when he returns.
— Total:NUFC (@Total_NUFC) February 21, 2018
Where he goes from here we don’t know, but a move that was meant to revitalise his career and send him back to Newcastle with a spring in his step has done anything but..