According to the Chronicle, Achraf Lazaar has now asked to be given another chance at Newcastle United this summer – regardless of who will be in charge ahead of the 2019/20 season.
I can see it already – He’ll be “Like a new signing!”.
In his defence, I don’t really feel like he was ever given a proper chance in the first place, with him making just 6 starts since his £3m move from Palermo three years ago – although there probably is a good reason for that.
Nevertheless, the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder claims that the Moroccan has been ‘working overtime’ on his fitness over the summer and is determined to prove himself when he returns to Tyneside for pre-season on July 4th:
‘Achraf Lazaar has asked Newcastle United for another chance next season – regardless of who will be manager on July 1.
‘The Chronicle understands Lazaar is heading back to the club with an open mind this summer.
‘The left-sided player spent the second half of last term at Sheffield Wednesday and is now back to full fitness ahead of the new season.
‘Lazaar has been working overtime on his condition during the close season but it remains to be seen whether he is told to report to the club’s Academy again on July 4.
‘Lazaar has two years left on his current deal and sources close to the player suggest he is hoping to at least get the chance to show what he can do in pre-season.‘
Lazaar is a bit of a mystery for me. Rafa’s intervention is said to be the reason we beat Fiorentina to his signing in the summer of 2016, yet it felt like it took Benitez no time at all to exclude him from his first-team plans.
He looks good technically and had looked like a tidy player the odd time we saw him in the Cup, with Sheffield Wednesday fans also raving about him during his brief but eye-catching loan spell at Hillsborough last season.
That said, it’s inevitable that the 27-year-old left-back will be back fighting for his future now the manager who doesn’t fancy him could be on the way out.
The likes of Gayle, Lazaar, Saivet, Colback and Aarons are almost certain to leave should Rafa stay, but his exit could give them hope of impressing any new manager – not that this will inspire Newcastle fans ahead of the new season!