According to a recent report from The Northern Echo, Achraf Lazaar could be set for a move away this summer. The 26-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League side Newcastle United and has done so since the summer of 2016, although his lowly position in the pecking order was highlighted by the fact that he was shipped out on loan to Italian side Benevento for the entirety of last season.
And it appears that Magpies chief Rafa Benitez is reportedly seeking to get rid of the Premier League flop before the end of the international window, and this may well be of interest to Rangers manager Steven Gerrard following the departure of Declan John at the end of the English window.
Ultimately, left back John made the move to Championship outfit Swansea City on deadline day last week to leave Gerrard slightly short in that department, despite the summer arrival of Borna Barisic from NK Osijek.
And while Wales international John failed to make a single appearance in the early stages of this season, albeit a knee injury did scupper his chances, Gerrard could likely still be eyeing up a replacement in a bid to offer genuine competition to current first-choice Barisic, especially given fellow left back Lee Wallace remains out of contention.
And while Lazaar endured a turbulent spell at Newcastle, he could well be the man Gerrard eyes to replace Welshman John.
The 26-year-old made the move to St James’ Park back in 2016 after a two-year stint at Palermo, in which time the left back scored three goals and laid on six assists for the Italian outfit, one goal and one assist of which came in his final season to thus earn a move to the North East.
Yet the Morocco international has only mustered ten senior appearances for the Magpies since his arrival two years ago to underline his lowly position in Benitez’s pecking order, to the point that he returned to Italy with Benevento last term in a bid for much-needed game time.
However, the full back is dynamic and is able to get up and down the flanks to offer an option in attack but also fulfil defensive duties, while his ability to play further up the left-hand-side in a more attacking role, having done so often for Palermo, is likely to be of interest to Gerrard as he seeks to continue bolstering several positions of his squad.
Add in the likelihood that any deal, loan or permanent, is likely to be cheap, and Rangers seemingly have little to lose from attempting to bring the 26-year-old to Ibrox.
So not only would Lazaar offer competition to new signing Barisic at left back, but he’d also give Gerrard the option of playing him further forward in a more attacking position – options that Gerrard is sure to want to have as the season progresses.
And with John having left the club last week, alongside reports that Lazaar will be let go by Newcastle this summer, the Rangers boss should seek to pounce by bringing the left back to Ibrox.
Rangers fans… what do you think? Let us know!