Watford close to agreeing a deal for Achraf Lazaar

Watford are close to signing 29-year-old full back Achraf Lazaar, who is out of contract having been at Newcastle.
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Achraf Lazaar in action for Newcastle United U21s against Bolton in the FA Cup

Achraf Lazaar is close to joining Watford on a short-term deal until the end of the season, according to reputable journalist Nicolo Schira.

The contract does include a clause which will allow Watford to extend his contract for a further year in the summer if they wish to do so.

The left-back, who can also operate as a wing-back, has unfinished business in England following a disappointing spell at Newcastle. Despite being in Tyneside for four and a half years, the Moroccan international made just ten appearances for the club and left after mutually terminating his contract last week.

Making his name in Italy, initially for Varese in Serie B before gaining promotion to Serie A with Palermo, the Moroccan-born player had bags of potential and Newcastle took the risk of signing Lazaar with the hope he could make the left-back position his own.

Unfortunately for Lazaar, Paul Dummett was an ever present at left-back in a Newcastle side that won the Championship under Rafa Benitez; Lazaar failed to make any major impact for the Magpies.

A deal to join Watford could reignite his career, a club with Italian owners where he would be fighting Italian Adam Masina for the left-back position.

The 29-year-old also provides cover in wing-back, where Ken Sema would be the obvious choice, but Achraf Lazaar can offer depth in a position which is light following Pervis Estupinan’s departure to Villarreal in the summer.

Both Jeremy Ngakia and Kiko Femenia, who are naturally right-backs, have both played at left-back whilst Adam Masina has been injured during different parts of the season.

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