Yet to win a game in the Premier League, Newcastle are currently 19th in the table, having picked up just two points since the start of the campaign.
Most managers, at this point, would try something new, perhaps bring in a couple of new players they have ignored so far, but that’s something Rafa Benitez doesn’t appear to be ready to do.
Achraf Lazaar, whom the Spaniard signed for Newcastle in the first place back when they were in the Championship, is one of these fringe players.
The Morocco international was sent on loan to Benevento last season, and returned to St James’ Park with hopes he could get a transfer away from the club.
He came very close to doing so, with Genoa reportedly on the verge of signing him, but the deal fell eventually fell through.
Speaking to Calciomercato in Italy, he explained what happened.
He said: “I would have been more than ready to play for Genoa, as they’re a great club with incredible players. I knew the team, but their president decided otherwise. I don’t know what the reason was, but the president is the one who spends money, and if he’s not convinced about investing his money in a particular player, I can respect that.
“Actually, I thank them for their interest in me. Nothing has changed in my feelings towards them. If Genoa were to call me again, I wouldn’t hesitate to go there”.
Currently featuring for Newcastle’s reserves, the left-back will most likely end up looking for a January exit, even if he seems reluctant to admit it.
He continued: “It’s still too soon for January. My agent certainly knows what he has to say to the club. Personally, I’m just going to train hard everyday to be ready for anything that could happen in the next few days. Because if the manager tells me he needs me, I’ll have to be 100% ready”.
If there’s one thing you can’t question here, it’s Lazaar’s attitude.