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Achraf Lazaar and Newcastle United agree to cancel contract

5 months ago
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Achraf Lazaar and Newcastle United have agreed to the cancellation of the remainder of his contract.

TMW reported the news that agreement had been reached between club and Achraf Lazaar, with an official announcement claimed to be imminent confirming the news.

That official announcement has indeed been made by Newcastle United on Thursday afternoon.

It means that the 29 year old (he was only 24 when he signed for Newcastle!) will be able to sign for another club now as a free agent, rather than having to wait until the end of his NUFC five year deal on 30 June 2021.

Official Newcastle United announcement:

‘Newcastle United can confirm that defender Achraf Lazaar has left the club after mutually agreeing to end his contract.

The Morocco international arrived on Tyneside from Palermo in 2016 and made nine first team appearances in all competitions for the Magpies, as well as spending time on loan at Benevento, Sheffield Wednesday and Cosenza.

The club wishes Achraf well for the future.’

Achraf Lazaar signed for Newcastle United back in August 2016, a £3m deal bringing the left-sided player to Tyneside.

In these past 54 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.’

Always keen to speak to the Italian media, Achraf Lazaar once again gave an interview in December 2020 about his life at Newcastle and his hopes for the future, once again slightly strange some of what he had 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.”

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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