Rafa Benitez set to hand NUFC outcast surprise lifeline this summer – huge chance to save his career

Despite his nightmare spell away from St James’ Park, the Chronicle claim Rafa Benitez will hand Achraf Lazaar one last chance to resurrect his NUFC career this summer.
After struggling for game time in his debut season in the Championship, he was loaned out to Serie A strugglers Benevento last summer, however that didn’t worked out well at all for him.
After the manager that signed him was sacked, he was dropped from their entire squad to allow for the free agent signing of Bacardi Sagna – and he’s been training on his own without a club ever since.
According to the Chronicle, Benitez has stayed in touch with the left-sided Moroccan international following his short-lived stint in Italy, telling him to stay fit and be ready to report back to pre-season on July 2nd.
It’s very likely that the club still do decide to sell him, but he’s set to be given an unlikely second chance before any decision is made, with the story stating that he could yet be in Benitez’s plans if he impresses over the summer:

“Benitez has stayed in touch with the player and told him to stay fit with Lazaar set to get a chance to feature in Newcastle’s pre-season friendly games.

“Newcastle will listen to offers for Lazaar as Benitez tries to reshape his squad, but only after the Toon boss looks to take a fresh look at the man who can play left-back or out wide.”

 It would be an unlikely turnaround given his lack of impact at NUFC last season and failure to impress out on loan over the past year, but with fellow left-backs Gamez and Haidara set to be released next month, maybe Benitez knows he needs to consider his options down the left. After all, Paul Dummett is our only ‘natural’ left-back.

Would you be happy to see him handed another chance?

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

One thought on “Rafa Benitez set to hand NUFC outcast surprise lifeline this summer – huge chance to save his career

  1. This has all the hallmarks of a ‘change of pattern’ to fit the ‘cloth’ Rafa has to work with. Dummett was injured for a long time but Rafa still sent Lazaar out on loan, so clearly doesn’t really rate him, but now without Gamez or Haidara to back up Dummett (were they ever real competition ?!?) he has to either recruit another left back or resurrect Lazaar, so he can save up his pennies to get Kenedy (perhaps) or a quality forward (won’t come cheap).
    There are some experienced left backs being touted about (eg Shaw) but their price would eat into a limited budget, so Rafa is likely to look for bargains in that position. The fact he is willing to reconsider Lazaar suggests that his extensive scouting operation hasn’t turned up much, cos maybe their just ain’t any options out there.
    The sale of Lazaar isn’t likely to add to Rafa’s transfer budget greatly, so his retention won’t hurt the club, and if it means Rafa can focus on a striker or two of real quality, then so much the better. 😉


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