Newcastle United should not hesitate to sell Achraf Lazaar to Fiorentina
According to the Chronicle Live, out-of-favour Newcastle United left-back Achraf Lazaar is the subject of interest from Italian club Fiorentina, with the 27-year-old left out of the Magpies Premier League squad for the ongoing season by new manager Steve Bruce.
Fiorentina are not the only club interested in signing the Moroccan international, though, with the same report suggesting that fellow Serie A club Hellas Verona, as well as Dutch club Utrecht, are also hot on his trail.
Lazaar, who made his move to St. James’ Park from Italian outfit Palermo back in the summer of 2016, made a total of 9 appearances in his debut season, as the Magpies secured promotion back to the Premier League as the outright winners of the Championship.
However, the Moroccan never really managed to challenge for a regular first-team role under former manager Rafael Benitez and largely cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines, whilst also spending time on loan at Benevento and Sheffield Wednesday.
The 27-year-old currently finds himself way down the pecking order at Tyneside and Steve Bruce has made it clear with his squad selection that the Moroccan is not in his plans moving forward.
Lazaar, as well as Rolando Aarons, worked with Bruce at Hillsborough last season in the Championship but neither has made it to Newcastle’s Premier League squad for the current campaign.
Moreover, the arrival of Dutch left-back Jetro Willems on a season-long loan deal from Eintracht Frankfurt has further reduced his chances of making an impression in the first-team at St. James’ Park.
Also, with Matt Ritchie adapting seamlessly to his unfamiliar left wing-back role since the start of the previous season, coupled with the presence of Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Willems, it is not difficult to see as to why Lazaar is surplus to demands.
Lazaar’s career has been in a freefall since his 2016 move to Newcastle but things were a lot brighter for the Moroccan back in his days at Palermo in Italy.
The left-back had established himself as a distinguished figure in his position in the Serie A earlier in his career and the prospect of a move back to Italy with Fiorentina, or even Hellas Verona for that matter, should appeal to the player.
The 27-year-old has a contract at Tyneside until the summer of 2021, although the Magpies are unlikely to stand in his way should a suitable offer be put on the table.
Newcastle have spent big on players like Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin this summer and they should pounce on the opportunity to offload one of their fringe players and balance the books.
The 17-cap Moroccan international is still very much in his prime years as a footballer and he certainly has time on his side to resurrect his dwindling career.
Lazaar is at a stage in his career where he would ideally like to start every game and constantly sitting on the sidelines is not something that any player in his prime would prefer.
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Keeping all the aforementioned factors in mind, Newcastle United parting ways with the 27-year-old seems like a good deal for all parties involved and, that said, they should consider offloading the out-of-favour left-back before the European transfer deadline.