After Achraf Lazaar was frozen out mid-way through his loan move to Benevento, Rafa Benitez has admitted that he tried to ‘find a solution’ for the Moroccan but was unable to bring the defender back to Tyneside.
Lazaar was signed by Benitez in the summer of 2016, however you wouldn’t know it. Since arriving at at the club prior to our pre season 2016/17 season in the Championship, the 26-year-old hasn’t started a single league game for the club, with Rafa only picking him for FA & League Cup games.
With this in mind, he was loaned out to newly promoted Serie A side Benevento, however that’s not gone to plan either. A mixture of injuries and a new manager who doesn’t fancy him have then left him surplus to requirements – which perhaps says a lot given they’re rock bottom of the Italian league.
Free agent Bacary Sagna has now taken his place in their squad, leaving him in limbo between now and the end of the season.
Here’s what Benitez has had to say about the situation, admitting to feeling sorry for the full-back and making an attempt to bring him back to the club:
“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 experienced and they decided on him not being in the squad.
“It’s something that we can’t control. We have signed Kenedy so we couldn’t bring him back.”
He’s found himself in a pretty tricky situation as far as his career’s concerned, however I do wonder quite what he’s been doing behind the scenes to go from a player who rejected Fiorentina for us in 2016, to someone who now can’t get in the squad of Serie A’s bottom side.
He’ll return to the club for pre-season in the summer, but he’s not done himself any favours during his short-lived return to Italy.