Florian Lejeune has started the last three Premier League matches alongside Jamaal Lascelles.

Forced off after only half an hour of the opening game v Tottenham, the Frenchman’s return from injury and introduction to the team has been another reminder of just how strong Newcastle are in the centre-back position.

Apart from a moment of madness when gifting a penalty at Southampton, Florian Lejeune hasn’t really put a foot wrong.

A bit of a strange route has led the defender to the Premier League, as despite now being 26, playing in La Liga last season for minnows Eibar was his first year playing in any top tier.

In fact, in his latest interview, Florian Lejeune has explained how that route to English football’s top tier was even more unusual, as rather than being on the books of a major club as a kid/teenager, he instead trained and played for a number of minor/amateur French clubs.

Eventually progressing to lower league professional clubs in both France and Spain.

Despite this alternative career path, Lejeune still harbours hopes of playing for his country.

If he can stay in the Newcastle team and impress in the Premier League, then no reason why he can’t be a late developer for both club and country.

Florian Lejuene talking to official match programme (v Bournemouth):

“I have a background which is different to a lot of footballers, as I did not have the chance to go to a training centre.

“I didn’t go to an official training centre, but that is why I succeeded, I had the mental strength to say I could succeed.

“I played with many clubs, met many managers, and I think this experience is what really made me, and gave me my strength.

“The chance I had was to have a really normal childhood, with my friends and family, and grow up normally…not be closed in a training centre, with only footballers and talking only about football.

“I could grow up normally and later on this helped me, as I was able to really make the most of my youth.

“Of course it (playing for France) is in the back of my mind, even if I have never played for them yet.

“My progress is good and I am here at a big club in Newcastle with a great manager, who also asked me what my ambitions were and posed the same question. I told him I’d love to play for France.

“And so if I want to do that, I need to do better things in training and in games.

“For me, at present, the most important thing is to start for Newcastle and to put in good performances for the team.”

  • Paul Busby

    “Apart from a moment of madness when gifting a penalty at Southampton, Florian Lejeune hasn’t really put a foot wrong.”

    Wasn’t he at fault for the Burnley goal as he left his man and moved out of position?

    • Gallowgate Frost

      Perez lost it too close to our box. The lads didnt have time to get back in to position. Yedlin was all over as well like some others

      • Paul Busby

        Yeah but Lejeune was in position and moved out just before the cross came in.If he had stayed put, he would have had a good chance of a clearence.

        • Gallowgate Frost

          I prefer him to Clark

          • Whitehurst

            Ditto. Do like Clark…but Lejeune looks class. He’s only played a handful of games…so mistakes will happen. Just how he learns from them.

      • Soren McKenzie

        A bit harsh I think, even the commentators agreed that Perez was fouled, I don’t think Perez can be blamed for poor defending.

    • Soren McKenzie

      I agree, but even more frustrating for me, and inexcusable really, if you watch the goal again, watch how he strolls back towards the goal after he realises his mistake. He actually had plenty of time to get back to make a block. Both Lascelles and Clark would have legged it to get back in the box, so for me, he should be dropped and Clark brought back in. I think he’ll make a great centre half one day, but he needs a ‘time out’ to think about it.

      • Paul Busby

        And in fairness, Clark “hasn’t really put a foot wrong” in recent memory.

        • Soren McKenzie

          Very true, and if he’d been playing instead of Lejeunes, I doubt Clark would have made that penalty challenge against Southampton or the mistake for the Burnley goal, so we could be talking about at least 3 more points on the board…

  • fistsofsteel2

    He’s lost us a few points. Prone to errors.

  • fistsofsteel2

    Clark is a far better, more reliable, defender.