Newcastle outcast Achraf Lazaar says he would not hesitate to leave the Magpies in the January transfer window if Italian outfit Genoa came calling.
The left sided player, who can play in a defensive or attacking role, has failed to impress during his time on Tyneside. Since joining the club from Serie A’s Palermo in the summer of 2016 he has made just ten appearances for the Toon, despite costing a reported £3m.
The 26-year-old Morocco international is a player not many people have heard of, which shows the little impact he has had on the Magpies.
Regarding Lazaar as a flop was proved to a higher extent when he only managed only nine outings for Benevento on a season-long loan last term and failed to help prevent the Italians from finishing rock bottom in Serie A.
Speaking in an interview with Italian publication Calciomercato, Lazaar, who has recently returned to Newcastle’s reserves and impressed under Ben Dawson, revealed he would welcome joining Genoa in January.
He said: “I would have been more than willing to play in Genoa, because it is a great club, with incredible players: I knew the team well, but President Preziosi decided otherwise.
“I do not know what was the reason for his decision, but the president is the one who spends and if he is not convinced of investing his money on a certain player I respect him.
“On the contrary, I thank him for being interested in me: nothing changes for me towards them. If Genoa were to call me again, I would not hesitate to go there.”
With the likes of Paul Dummett and Javi Manquillo above Lazaar in the pecking order on the left side of defence, it seems unlikely Lazaar will get any game time at St James’ Park any time soon. Ciaran Clark is also likely to be chosen ahead of Lazaar if Benitez lost his first two options.
Lazaar signed a five-year contract when he joined Newcastle and has three years left to run on that contract. Newcastle may be forced to loan him out again, rather than offloading him permanently.