Xisco Munoz’s Watford look set to release Achraf Lazaar this summer.
That’s according to The Athletic, who claimed that the left-back looks unlikely to be kept on at Vicarage Road despite the club having an option to extend the 29-year-old’s contract for a further 12 months.
It is reported that Watford simply viewed the former Newcastle United defender as a stop-gap backup to first-choice left-back Adam Masina, with the newly-promoted side potentially looking to bring in a new player in the position this summer.
Having joined Watford on a free transfer back in February, after being released from his contract early by the Magpies, it is fair to say that Lazaar failed to make a significant impact within Xisco’s side.
Since joining the Hornets, the £18,000-per-week left-back has featured in just four games, with the defender losing possession of the ball an average of 9.8 times per match, a rather staggering statistic considering he averaged just 33 minutes on the pitch over these four appearances.
In terms of his overall level of performance, Lazaar has averaged a SofaScore match rating of 6.58 so far at the club, ranking him as Watford’s third-worst player in the Championship, with his rating only bettering those of Stipe Perica and Ignacio Pussetto.
As such, it is hardly surprising to learn that Watford do not plan to extend the Morocco international’s contract beyond this season, despite Houssine Kharja, Lazaar’s former international team-mate, claiming that the 29-year-old has “great qualities” as a footballer.
Indeed, considering just how ineffectual Lazaar has been, it would be most advisable for Watford to offload the left-back this summer, and to look at bringing in a substantially better replacement in the summer if Xisco wants his side to have any chance of surviving in the Premier League next term.