Desperate to make an instant return to the Premier League following their relegation to the Championship, Newcastle United made a host of signings going into the 2016/17 season including Achraf Lazaar.
Lazaar, an offensive left-back, arrived from Italian outfit Palermo and left some Newcastle supporters ecstatic to say the least.
— RafasBlack&WhiteArmy (@hootzy61) 28 August 2016
ho ho for the pun show. Welcome Lazaar. pic.twitter.com/Uk5d6F36ij
— Tynemouth Surf Cafe (@SurfCafeTM) 28 August 2016
HAPPY MAN RIGHT NOW
— ASHLEY OUT (@NUFC_UNITE) August 28, 2016
— Claire Tate (@Claire_NUFC) 28 August 2016
Wow what a signing! @LazaarAchraf
— TrezasToon (@keithtrezayoung) 28 August 2016
what a beautiful man
— Ｃｏｎｎｏｒ (@Connor_Ryan97) 28 August 2016
The 26-year-old, however, failed to make much of an impact at St. James’ Park before returning back to Italy after being loaned out to Benevento.
Lazaar has since returned to Newcastle but is firmly out of the reckoning, much to the frustration of the Morocco international, who was denied a transfer out of the club during the summer after a loan deal to take him to Genoa collapsed.
And speaking on the matter, Lazaar told Gazzetta dello Sport (via the Shields Gazette): “Newcastle had authorised me to fly to Italy. I just had to sign the contract.
“Several voices were coming, but, in the evening, the two clubs told me correctly that the deal had faded. And now? I hope to regain my space. I will work hard to get back to the top and be the protagonist. If not, I will look around [for another club].”
Having been reduced to Premier League 2 football this season, Lazaar looks to be far from Benitez’s thinking and will almost certainly push for an exit come January.