Watford’s sporting director Cristiano Giaretta has suggested the club will not make a decision on whether or not to offer left-back Achraf Lazaar a new contract, until the end of the season.
Lazaar joined Watford as a free agent following his departure from Newcastle back in February, and has gone on to make three appearances for the Hornets since then.
The 29-year-old, who has been brought in as cover for fellow left-back Adam Masina, only signed a short-term contract at Vicarage Road until the end of the season.
However, it seems it could still be some time until there is a decision on whether Lazaar stays beyond then, with the club’s main focus seemingly on the battle for promotion from the Championship.
Speaking about the situation at left-back with regards to Masina and Lazaar, and the possibility of handing the latter a new deal beyond this summer, Giaretta told TuttoMercatoWeb: “We took Lazaar as an alternative, he is paying for Adam’s confirmation, but he showed us that it was an important choice: the player is there, he just needs continuity.
“We have eight games, we must not make mistakes and think of anything else [other] than [what happens on] the pitch.
“Every decision is postponed to the end of the season. We have created a very good position that we must improve. Maximum concentration, head down and on the pedal.”
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As things stand, Watford are currently second in the Championship table, six points clear of the play-off spots, but having played a game more than third-placed Swansea.
For his part, Masina’s current contract with Watford is not set to expire until the end of the 2022/23 season.
I do think it makes sense for Watford to wait until the end of the season before making a decision about Lazaar.
Given they do not yet know what division they will be playing in next season, it is hard for the Hornets to make a definitive decision here, since it is only then they will know the sort of players they need to recruit, and the budget they have to work with.
Indeed, even if that happens, the fact that Lazaar has not been a regular for them since arriving means it could still be hard to make a decision on him, given he has arguably not had the best chance to prove himself.
However, with that in mind, there is no guarantee that the left-back himself would put pen to paper on a new deal at Vicarage Road, if he feels there may be a better opportunity for him elsewhere.