Could Rafa’s departure give Lazaar second life at Newcastle United?
A lot of players on the Newcastle United roster are upset at Rafa leaving, but a young defender may get another chance because of it.
On Monday when the Newcastle United news release came out, everyone from fans to players to pundits showcased their displeasure at Rafa Benitez’s upcoming departure from the club. While the negatives of the situation are obvious and seemingly endless, there could be a silver lining for a select few people. One of those individuals could be outcasted left-back Achraf Lazaar.
With only ten appearances total for Newcastle United since signing in the summer of 2016, Lazaar has not been able to work his way back into the club’s plans on the backline. The 27-year-old Moroccan has gone on loan from the Magpies with Benevento and Sheffield Wednesday, making 13 total appearances for those two clubs and scoring a goal for the former. Playing some with the Newcastle United reserve side, he tallied three assists in Premier League 2 action last season.
The club has been looking for competition for the ultra-defensive Paul Dummett for more than a couple of seasons. After a failed loan move for Jordan Lukaku, Antonio Barreca arrived on loan in January but made no impact. Could Lazaar do something he could never do with Rafa and impress whoever the new manager is? Unlike Dummett, he has the ability to get forward and play the ball into the strikers, also playing as a midfielder at times in his career.