Watford Complete Signing of Former Newcastle United Defender Achraf Lazaar

Achraf Lazaar

Former Newcastle United defender Achraf Lazaar has completed a move to Watford as a free agent.

The 29-year-old full-back was released by the Magpies in January after four-and-a-half years at the club, but he only managed to make ten appearances in that time.

Achraf Lazaar Joins Watford

Defensive Cover Until the End of the Season

Lazaar has joined the Hornets on a deal understood to be until the end of the season, reports the Watford Observer’s Ryan Gray. It is also thought that there will be an option to extend the deal by a further year.

The Moroccan defender will come in to help out a defence that has recently lost Adam Masina, Ken Sema and Kiko Femenia to injuries.

Previous head coach Vladimir Ivic had wanted to bring in a left-back as cover for Masina since the beginning of the season, but the club appeared happy to wait and let the likes of Jeremy Ngakia, a right-back, fill in until Masina returned.

In November, Ivic expressed his frustration at the lack of development on that front, telling reporters: “I am asking [for a left-back].

“At the moment we have just the one player with a left foot. Ken Sema has played all the games but in his position, we would like somebody else who can give us an option.

“It’s something I know we need but I need to work with the team and the squad we have to try and take 100 per cent from them.

“And try to find the player who can give me in this position something extra, to take risks sometimes and to continue to work.”

Lazaar’s Career

Though born in Casablanca in Morocco, Lazaar came through the youth system at Varese after moving to Italy with his parents.

His senior debut came for Varese in 2012 and he went on to make 42 appearances for the club before completing a move to Palermo.

Here, he was a regular fixture in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 squads but made just one appearance in the next campaign before completing a move to Newcastle.

The transfer, though, didn’t work out. Although part of the Magpies’ Championship-winning team in 2016/17, Lazaar was back in Italy with Benevento by the next season, joining them on loan.

He also spent part of 2019 back in the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday, while his last loan before leaving Newcastle for good last month was with Italian Serie B side Cosenza.

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