Achraf Lazaar gives slightly bizarre interview ahead of hopefully getting move to new club
It is now 52 months since Achraf Lazaar signed for Newcastle United.
Back in August 2016,a £3m deal bringing the left-sided player to Tyneside.
In these past 52 months, Achraf Lazaar hasn’t started a single league match for Newcastle United.
Indeed, even when you include loan spells with Benevento, Sheffield Wednesday (with Steve Bruce) and Cosenza, Lazaar has started only 13 league games in total since April 2016 when he started his last Serie A game for Palermo.
Fourteen months ago, Achraf Lazaar bizarrely insisted in an interview (see below) ‘In England I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.’
Well, I don’t know about that, but he clearly does have to prove to another club that he is worth a permanent contract.
Always keen to speak to the Italian media, Achraf Lazaar has once again given an interview about his life at Newcastle and his hopes for the future, once again slightly strange some of what he has to say.
Achraf Lazaar speaking to Passione Inter – 7 December 2020:
‘Achraf, how are you? I know you’re not having an easy time on a personal level at Newcastle.’
“I’m very well thanks.
“It’s true, it’s not easy and I’m not finding space with the [Newcastle] first team, but I have many reasons not to give up.
“I still have one year on my contract and I still have a lot to prove.
“I’m playing matches with the second team and I’m always looking for motivation to stay on track with the utmost professionalism “
‘Do you miss Italy? Do you think you can come back again in January?’
“Italy is my home I miss and I miss my family, I don’t know what will happen in January, if maybe I will go to Italy or elsewhere.
“The only thing that matters to me is to go to a team that allows me to play, with continuity and confidence. My agent is taking care of it.”
‘What are your next career goals?’
“I have so many goals but I keep them to myself.
“One of those is that I would like to take back everything I have lost in the last few years.
“I know I have lost something but I have also gained a lot, I have learned a lesson in life and experience. And I can’t wait to start a new challenge.”
Achraf Lazaar only has six months left at Newcastle United before his five year contract at last runs out, so I’m not sure what he is going to prove, either before January if he moves on then, or by the end of June 2021 if he stays until the bitter end.
The left-sided player was given three starts for the NUFC Under 23s in October and at the time it was speculated that maybe this was to try and help him show he was fit and available for a January permanent transfer elsewhere.
I always think there must be some other story that we never find out about Achraf Lazaar, it is all very strange that even when out on loan from Newcastle United he still hasn’t played much football, starting only 13 league games in four and a half years.
I find it difficult to think of what kind of club, what level, he could get signed up for.
That last loan move in 2019/20 was the strangest one to Cosenza in the Italian second tier. Achraf Lazaar had some injury problems but when fit, he got only four league starts and was named as a sub 17 times.
If he couldn’t get a game in the Italian second tier, where will he end up?
Arriving as a 24 year old at Newcastle United, Achraf Lazaar turns 29 next month (January 2021) and it feels very much like he has wasted the main years of his career.
In October 2019 after going on loan to Serie B club Cosenza, 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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