When Sheffield Wednesday announced that they had secured a loan deal for Achraf Lazaar on deadline day in January, their supporters had every right to feel excited given his previous escapades at Palermo.
During his time in Italy, the full-back was mightily impressive for I Rosanero with the consistency of his performances in Serie A attracting the attention of Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez who convinced him to move to St. James’ Park in 2016.
Although Lazaar would achieve promotion to the Premier League in the following season, a myriad of injury problems resulted in him making just four appearances for the Magpies in the second tier.
Having spent the entirety of the 2017/18 campaign at Benevento, the defender returned to Newcastle last summer where he found himself below the likes of Paul Dummett and Javier Manquillo in the pecking order at the club.
In desperate need of first-team football, Lazaar agreed to a switch to Hillsborough and took to Twitter to confirm the news, sparking a reaction from these Owls supporters.
great opportunity, use it well & you’ll be a legend here
— Dave Howard (@herespsycho) February 1, 2019
Welcome to the massive
— Scott Rodgers (@ScottRodgers91) February 1, 2019
Welcome to Sheffield. Good luck we wish you very well
— Pete 2019 (@peteeccles68) February 1, 2019
Welcome son. I remember you at Palermo. A tough player, with a great first touch and lightning speed. You’ll fit right in at Wednesday. UTO #swfc
— Damien Lane (@Damienlanesun) February 1, 2019
Welcome Achraf to Sheffield Wednesday, hope you enjoy your time with us Owl.
— Melissa WAWAW!!! (@MelissaWawaw) February 1, 2019
Welcome to SWFC ,you’re gonna love it!
— nigel lawes (@nig_L) February 1, 2019
After waiting three weeks to make his debut for his new club, the Moroccan was finally given the chance to prove himself by Steve Bruce in February against Swansea City. Impressing throughout for Wednesday, Lazaar delivered a fantastic performance in a 3-1 victory over the Jacks which offered a great deal of promise for the remainder of the campaign.
However, after being forced off due to injury in a clash with Brentford, the defender missed the next six games for the Owls before making a cameo appearance against Nottingham Forest.
Despite producing a solid display against Bristol City at the end of April, the fact that Lazaar only appeared on four occasions in five months for Bruce’s side suggests that the risk to bring him in from Newcastle ultimately failed to pay off.
With his contract with the Magpies set to expire next month (via Transfermarkt), it would be incredibly surprising if Wednesday try to secure a permanent deal for the 27-year-old, especially when you consider his troubles with injuries in recent years.
Owls fans, what were your thoughts when the Lazaar initially signed? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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