Newcastle United defender Achraf Lazaar has opened up on his time with Palermo.
The Magpies defender joined the club in the summer transfer window for just under £3m, according to statistical website transfermarkt.co.uk.
However he has found it difficult to peg down a place in the starting team as a combination of Paul Dummett‘s form and fitness issues have held the Moroccan back.
But he should be fit for the Leeds United game on the 20th of November and could pressure Dummett for a starting place in the team.
And now he has opened up about his time in Italy, the ‘Ultras’ of his former club and the reasons for joining Newcastle in the first place.
“Palermo have a big fan base and they are very much behind the team too. If you don’t win the fans don’t like you, if you win they love you.
“The fans come to the training ground everyday. They stay near the team. As I say when you win you are a prince of the city, if you lose it’s hard,” commented the 24-year-old.
The defender won the support of the hardcore section of the Serie A’s fan base – which holds him in good stead for the future.
“They have the Ultras in Palermo,” explained Lazaar. “They thanked me for everything I had done for the club before I came to Newcastle and I thanked them for all their support.”
Meanwhile, the player also revealed why he could not say no when Rafa Benitez first told him he was interested in bringing Lazaar to Tyneside.
“Once a manager like Rafa Benitez has called you, there is only one choice,” the newspaper reported that he said.
“He called me and I respected that so much. He told me he knew all about me from Italy and I came straight away.”