Newcastle fringe man makes bold claim about his future in PL
By Russell Edge
Newcastle defender Achraf Lazaar has revealed he expects to get more game time in Rafa Benitez’s side in the Premier League next season.
It’s a bold claim as Paul Dummett has firmly established himself as Rafael Benitez’s first choice left-back, making 45 appearances in the league this season as he helped the Magpies secure the Championship title.
Lazaar meanwhile has been limited to just four league appearances since joining from Palermo in the summer of 2016, and played 11 times across all competitions.
The Chronicle had reported that the 25-year-old was in favour of departing Tyneside this summer in search of more first-team action, but the Moroccan international has now refuted those claims.
He told the Shields Gazette: “I’m happy to stay with this team and the group.
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“I’m here to play. I didn’t do it too much this year. But I think the next year, I play (more).”
Lazaar, who can operate anywhere along the left flank, has not made an appearance for the Magpies since they suffered a shock-defeat in the FA Cup at the hands of Oxford United in January.
He has faced a battle with Massadio Haidara to act as Dummett’s understudy, but it appeared to be a fight Lazaar lost after Benitez chose to send on the French defender following Isaac Hayden’s injury on the last day of the season.
Haidara and Dummett both enter the final years of their contracts in summer, while Lazaar has a deal keeping him at St James’ Park until 2021.
In other Newcastle news, the financial benefits of the Magpies’ promotion have been revealed.