Everything you need to know about new Sheffield Wednesday signings Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar
Sheffield Wednesday had a busy final day of the transfer window as they brought in three players to bolster the squad for the remainder of the season.
Both Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar joined on loan from Newcastle, while Dominic Iorfa signed on a permanent deal.
Here’s everything you need to know on Wednesday’s two new loan recruits…
The 23-year-old Jamaica born midfielder came through the ranks at Bristol City before making the switch to Newcastle and has made a total of 33 appearances for the Magpies’ senior team.
Aarons has scored two goals for Newcastle and has since been sent on loan to Hellas Verona and Slovan Liberec.
The 5ft 9in attacking midfielder reportedly makes strong defensive contributions to the team and also draws fouls often. Typically plays on the left but is versatile so can swap to the right wing.
The 27-year-old Moroccan international hasn’t been tested much in English football, with just four substitute appearances to his name for Newcastle.
He moved to St James’ Park from Palermo in 2014 for an undisclosed fee but has since been loaned out to Benevento in the Italian second division.
Lazaar is said to play at either left wing or left-back and likes to dribble, tackle and cross the ball in from the flanks.
Scouting report – Q&A with Miles Starforth of the Shields Gazette
What can Wednesday fans expect from Aarons and Lazaar?
MS: Aarons is a talented player, but we've only seen glimpses of that talent in recent years. Aarons is left-footed and can play on either wing. He's an explosive player at his best, capable of beating a man and creating a chance for him or one of his team-mates..
Harder to say with Lazaar, as we didn't see too much of him. He's never started a league game for the club. He's better on the front foot, and looked lightweight physically at times. He can also play on the wing.
What are are their strengths and weaknesses?
MS: Aarons' strength was always his pace, as it created most of his opportunities. Unfortunately, that's led to problems with his hamstring, and injuries have interrupted a once-promising career.
Lazaar is still unproven physically in English football. He didn't play much Championship football with Newcastle a couple of seasons ago, and he needs to show he has the attitude and application needed for the division.
Is this a good deal for Wednesday, Newcastle or both clubs?
MS: Wednesday have signed two talented players, so in that sense it could be a good deal for them, but neither arrives in any kind of form. Time will tell. Benitez will be pleased, as he wanted Aarons and Lazaar, not part of his first-team squad, out of the club and playing football elsewhere.
Why have they been sent out on loan?
MS: Neither player has a future at the club under Benitez, even though they're under contract until 2021. Benitez - whose own future is in doubt - was keen to move them out on loan last month. Benitez handed Aarons a new contract in the summer of 2016, but he never seemed convinced by him. Injuries haven't helped. Benitez seemingly realised he made a mistake signing Lazaar before the end of his first season at the club. He will need to apply himself on the training field at Wednesday.