Barely used by Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez last season in the Championship, Achraf Lazaar decided enough was enough and sought a move away from St James’ Park during the last transfer window.
Finding a deal with newly promoted Serie A side Benevento adequate, the left-back returned to Italy, where he had spent most his career previously.
So far, his start to the season has been anything but successful, with the the minnows rock bottom of the Italian top-tier, and now he isn’t even being called up to the Morocco national team.
While this might come as a surprise, considering he used to be a regular, Hervé Renard revealed why he is now preferring the likes of Hamza Mendyl and Achraf Hakimi in his stead.
Relayed by Lions de L’Atlas, he said: “You’ll need to ask him if he wants to return to the national team since he didn’t want to come to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations”.
It seems strange that a player who isn’t getting any game time for his club, at that time Newcastle, would turn down the opportunity to represent his country and get some time on the pitch, but the defender clearly had his reasons.