Despite Achraf Lazaar being included in our 25-man squad for the 2018/19 Premier League season, Rafa Benitez has confirmed that both he and Rolando Aarons ‘cannot train with us’ – meaning they look set to spend the rest of 2018 with the U-23’s.
The Chronicle claim that Benitez was looking to move both on this summer, with the club looking to offload Lazaar permanently and loan Aarons out, however neither managed to secure moves away.
The fact Lazaar was included in our 25-man squad made many wonder if he may be handed a second chance (which would make sense given our total lack of cover at left-back), but it seems Benitez has not changed his stance – with the Moroccan failing to receive a squad number despite his inclusion.
Here’s what Rafa’s said when asked about the duo today:
“If they are not in the squad they cannot train with us. They will stay over there [at the Academy],”
“If they are over there, it’s because we told them we need to find a solution.”
Pretty brutal stuff from Benitez, but it sounds like they’ve been made aware of the club’s stance for a while now based on these comments.
The majority of European transfer windows and the EFL loan window closed last Friday – so their options are now VERY limited – however there was talk last night that an unnamed Bulgarian side was keen on Aarons, whilst The Chronicle claim that Lazaar has received ‘tentative interest’ from the USA and Asia.
If moves don’t materialise, it looks set to be a torrid 2018 for the pair..