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Achraf Lazaar gets surprise international chance after Nabil Dirar drops out

12 months ago

Achraf Lazaar has played only nine minutes of football in the past seven months and has been sent to train with the kids at Newcastle United.

Yet the player now finds himself back with the national squad, Achraf Lazaar recalled by Morocco after a gap of four years.

October 2016 was the last time his country named him in a national squad, only six weeks after joining Newcastle United.

So you have to wonder exactly what they have seen in him recently to get this recall…here’s hoping he might get a chance on the pitch against Senegal tonight and / or DR Congo on Tuesday (13 October) and attract a new club on the back of it.

Newcastle United and Achraf Lazaar of course having the option of mutually agreeing to cancel his contract and make him a free agent, though of course there are also seven days remaining of this transfer window when the left-back could be sold or loaned to a Championship, League One, or League Two club.

Also, a small number of countries still have their transfer windows open, meaning they can buy (or loan) players from Premier League clubs but not sell to them. In Russia their window closes on Saturday 17 October and in Portugal they are open for business until Sunday 25 October.

Achraf Lazaar wasn’t named in the original Morocco squad.

Instead, he was named as a late replacement on Tuesday, after Fenerbahce’s Nabil Dirar tested positive for the virus.

Achraf Lazaar arrived at St James Park back on 27 August 2016.

After relegation, Rafa Benitez had a massive job on his hands as loads of the rats (Sissoko, Townsend, Wijnaldum, Janmaat etc) demanded to leave the sinking ship, rather than stay and help get promoted. Whilst there was also a load of players not fit for purpose that also needed to be cleared out.

Achraf Lazaar one of 12 signings in summer 2016 that Rafa Benitez had to make to fill the gaps left in the squad, as he attempted to build one to get instant promotion.

Mike Ashley continuing his policy of giving far too long contracts to so many new signings and existing young players, Achraf Lazaar getting a five year deal.

With so many signings in such a short space of time, there was always room for mistakes on one or two signings and from early on, Newcastle United have been trying to move the Moroccan international to another club on a permanent basis, with no luck.

A number of failed loan deals not exactly helping to attract clubs.

Benevento leaving Achraf Lazaar completely out of their squad for the second half of the 2017/18 Serie A season after a poor run of form and only give six league starts.

At Sheffield Wednesday the left-back actually fleetingly showed some promise under Steve Bruce but got injured after only three Championship starts in 2018/19.

Then going last season to second tier Italian club Cosenza, Achraf Lazaar was often missing due to some unconfirmed illness / injury and even when available made only four starts (named 17 times on the bench) in Serie B.


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