Achraf Lazaar gives strong interview to Italian media “In England I don’t have to prove anything to anyone”
Achraf Lazaar was certainly one of Rafa Benitez’ stranger signings.
Signed in summer 2016, the Serie A player was also an international with Morocco.
Despite that and Newcastle handing the player a five year contact, Rafa didn’t give him a single league start.
Only 36 minutes in four brief Championship sub appearances and not a minute in the Premier League.
Then despite saying how impressed he was with the left-sided player when on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, Steve Bruce didn’t even give Achraf Lazaar a Premier League squad place this season.
Set to turn 28 in January, Lazaar finds himself in Serie B with Cosenza yet still believes he can get back to playing in Serie A and turning out for his country once again.
As for Newcastle United and the Premier League/England, despite the lack of games Achraf Lazaar insists ‘In England I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.’
Achraf Lazaar talking to Tutto Mercato Web:
From the English league to Cosenza. First impressions?
“Staying at Newcastle would have been like finishing my football career…I would have thought only of money.
“And my parents taught me that a career comes before money, football is my life.
“I want to come back as big as before going to Newcastle.
“My agent De Fanti, as well as my mental coach Civitarese, was very close to me in a delicate period and together we chose Cosenza.
“In Palermo I was one of the leaders, at Newcastle I ended up on the bench: it’s not easy, especially mentally.
“Last year I played six months at Sheffield (Wednesday), I wanted to go back to Italy, at home. So I chose Cosenza. I want to get back the positive things from my past.
“Cosenza showed interest in me, I didn’t look at the level (Serie B).
“If you play and show and trust your qualities, the level doesn’t matter. I will help Cosenza and Cosenza help me. I want to go back to the old Lazaar ”.
What didn’t work in England?
“With Benitez it was a technical choice ( by the Manager), then came another coach (Steve Bruce) who wanted me to go to Sheffield and the company decided that I was not part of the plans. It wasn’t Benitez’ fault or the other coach either. I went there to play, I wanted to try English football at all costs to prove my qualities.
“It was a dream (to play in England) as a child. It didn’t go well but I look forward. I have to work on the present. The future is built by working on the present, it arrives. Today I think of Cosenza and myself. I must also recover physically. The coach is helping me a lot, I’m glad I made this choice.”
Objective for the future – to return to England to show that you can play there?
“In England I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
“I want to be the best for myself, I want to stay in Italy. Italy has raised me, made me feel important. The English experience made me become a man.
“I must do well at Cosenza, which expects so much from me. I have to repay the trust. For them, for me and my family.
“I also want to win back my place with the national team, when a player does not play he does not deserve the call. I must find continuity. Also to go back to wearing my Morocco shirt.”
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