Newcastle United have confirmed their second signing of the summer transfer window as Florian Lejeune has joined the club from SD Eibar. The 26-year-old is believed to have cost £8.7 million as the Magpies met the release clause in his contract. He has signed a contract that will keep him at St James’ Park until the summer of 2022.
Lejeune is a centre back, who is known for his physicality and those that have watched him play regularly believe that he will be well suited to the English game. He is strong in the air and capable of using both feet. Last season, he helped Eibar to a top half finish in La Liga and was regarded as one of the best in his position outside of the top three clubs.
The Frenchman has had a journeyman career as United are his 8th club as a professional. He did join Manchester City in 2015, but he never featured for the club as he was loaned straight back to Girona, before earning a transfer to Eibar. Although he never featured for City, the fact that the club signed him does suggest he has talent and he will be eager to show what he can do in England now that he has joined Newcastle.
The centre back joins Christian Atsu in signing for the Magpies this summer and supporters will be hoping that there is more to come during the coming weeks, as it is crucial that players are signed as early as possible. It has been a frustrating few weeks for Newcastle, but this provides them with the breakthrough that they so desperately needed.
Rafa Benitez spoke to the official website about the signing and said the following:
“I would like to welcome Florian to Newcastle United. He is a player that has done very well this year in Spain. I have known about him for a while, since he began playing for Villarreal.
“He has progressed a lot as a player in the last few years and I know he will give us something different at the back – he is good with both feet, he’s big and he’s good in the air also.”
Although it is a relatively cheap deal in the modern market, it carries only a small amount of risk and provides United with the opportunity to spend more in other positions.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the news that Lejeune had joined Newcastle United:
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 4, 2017
— SD Eibar (@SDEibar) July 4, 2017
This lad doesn’t even have a YouTube compilation made by your 12 year old brother. How am I supposed to scout him?
— Strawberry Corner (@TheStrawberryC) July 4, 2017
RAFA'S MAGS! pic.twitter.com/MeU05wXj3q
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) July 4, 2017
Those that have watched him play suggested it was a good move by Newcastle:
Florian Lejeune for less than £9m would be a very good buy for Newcastle – solid central defender – excellent season for Eibar.
— Jon Driscoll (@DriscollFC) July 3, 2017
Florian Lejeune is a good signing for Newcastle. Bargain aswell in the current transfer market. Hope Eibar can replace him.
— ©00kie (@steven_c00k) July 4, 2017
Newcastle fans were pleased to have finally made a signing:
Hopefully this new signing for the Toon is the start of many! ????
— The True Geordie (@TrueGeordieNUFC) July 4, 2017
Give it a rest Kim Jong Un, we've only just started signing players #nufc
— Delphine Fender (@delfender) July 4, 2017
— Suffolk Geordie (@SuffolkGeordie) July 4, 2017
Although the majority don’t know much about him:
Can't believe Newcastle have actually signed someone… even though I don't know who he is! #nufc
— JW (@JayThomas999) July 4, 2017
Absolutely buzzing with Lejeune. Never heard of him, never seen him play and can't say his name but still buzzing.
— Adam Hassan (@Adam_Hassan909) July 4, 2017