Newcastle United defender Achraf Lazaar has spoken out after his loan move to Genoa collapsed.

The 26-year-old, who was loaned out to Benevento last term, was expected to join the Serie A side for the 2018/19 season.

The two clubs unexpectedly failed to agree terms, and Lazaar was told to report back to training.

Achraf Lazaar during Serie A match between Juventus v Benevento, in Turin, on november 5, 2017 (Photo by Loris Roselli/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

Rafael Benitez was open to letting Lazaar leave, and the Moroccan could yet leave the club with the transfer window still open for Championship clubs (loan deals) and European teams until August 31.


Lazaar opens up

The full-back has spoken for the first time since his move failed to materialise.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by the Shields Gazzette: “On Friday morning, Newcastle had authorised me to fly to Italy. I just had to sign the contract.

“Several voices were coming, but, in the evening, the two clubs told me correctly that the deal had faded.

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND – AUGUST 26: Newcastle United’s Achraf Lazaar arrives prior to kick off of the Premier League Match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St.James’ Park on August 26, 2017, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

And now? I hope to regain my space. I will work hard to get back to the top and be the protagonist. If not, I will look around [for another club].

“Obviously, Italy and Serie A always remain in my heart. Try again with Genoa in January? Why not? I know [Genoa manager Davide] Ballardini well. He trained me at Palermo. I wish him a great season.”

Could he do a job for Newcastle?

Since joining the club in 2016, Lazaar has made just nine appearances for the Magpies.

Eight of those came when the club were still in the Championship.

Newcastle’s defence looks reasonably solid following the opening two Premier League games against Tottenham and Cardiff.

Paul Dummett has done OK at left-back, and at the very least Lazaar could play second fiddle to the Welshman.

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND – JULY 5: Achraf Lazaar (L) and Dwight Gayle (R) challenge for possession of the ball during the Newcastle United Training session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on July 5, 2017, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

The Magpies don’t really have any natural replacements to call upon should Dummett pick up an injury.

Benitez appears to be relaxed over Lazaar’s future, and could take or leave his potential sale.

The most important thing is for Lazaar to improve and get ready in case he is called to make his Premier League debut this term.

Have something to tell us about this article?