It has been a frustrating three years for Achraf Lazaar since he made the switch to English football.
The Moroccan defender’s move to Newcastle United in 2016 was considered by many of the club’s supporters as somewhat of a coup as he had shown very promising signs whilst playing for Italian side Palermo.
However, a tough start to life with the Magpies saw him make just nine appearances during the 2016/17 campaign as Paul Dummett established himself as Rafael Benitez’s first choice at St James’ Park. With Javier Manquillo being preferred as back up instead of Lazaar last season, he moved back to the Serie A to join Benevento on loan yet a serious injury suffered whilst in Italy saw his development stall once again.
Now on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, the 27-year-old has finally demonstrated positive signs that he could be about to rebuild his career. Under the guidance of Steve Bruce, Lazaar, who is valued at £900k (by Transfermarkt), has made two appearances for the club since signing on loan in January but is currently undergoing rehabilitation from a hamstring injury suffered against Brentford. Although the defender has had a history of being sidelined with various issues over the past two seasons, if he can overcome this latest setback there should be no reason why the Owls shouldn’t take a risk on making a permanent move in the summer.
Lazaar’s Newcastle future looks destined to be brought to an end when the current campaign reaches its crescendo and therefore any deal for the full-back could be cost-efficient for Wednesday, regardless of what division they find themselves in. However, a swoop could ultimately come down to whether the defender can play a vital role in helping Bruce’s side reach the play-offs this season.
With the Owls just two points behind sixth-placed Aston Villa in the Championship, they know that if they can produce a great run in their final eight fixtures, they will be in with a superb chance of a return to Wembley Stadium in May after three years away.
What do you think Wednesday fans? Should the club sign Lazaar on a permanent deal in the summer? Or does his history of injuries pose too much of a risk for Bruce to take? Let us know below.
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