Florian Lejeune was one of the players last season who looked as though he could prove a top player.

Recovering  from that early injury picked up when Harry Kane took him out in the opening match of the season, the Frenchman impressed when coming back into the team.

Then a foot injury in December meant another spell out – but when returning for the home game against Manchester United, from that point on, Florian Lejeune never looked back.

He and Jamaal Lascelles looked to have built an excellent and growing partnership, Newcastle conceding only 11 goals in the final 12 PL matches.

In fact, an end of season feature (see below) on the official Premier League website, selected Florian Lejeune as one of the players set to make a big impact in 2018/19 – those end of season stats suggesting that he had actually outperformed Jamaal Lascelles.

Lejeune played 45 minutes of the opening friendly at St Patrick’s Athletic but was then missing from the Hull one with a reported knee problem.

On Saturday night though after the 0-0 draw with Porto though, Rafa Benitez has revealed the disastrous news that it is actually a cruciate ligament injury and the defender will be out for a significant amount of time.

Florian Lejeune is set to have an operation and early reports in the media are saying at least six months recovery time, meaning early 2019 at the very earliest for a return, although it could also mean we might not see him at all this coming season if it ends up being the very worst diagnosis.

Rafa Benitez:

“It is a cruciate ligament (for Florian Lejeune) and he will need an operation.

“We need to decide exactly when that will be but we will lose him for a while.

“It is bad news for us.”

The Mag – 19 May 2018:

The official Premier League site are picking out players who can make big impacts in 2018/19.

On Saturday they have picked out Florian Lejeune.

In the write up, it says ‘As a duo Lejeune and Lascelles gel wonderfully.’

I wouldn’t disagree.

Surprisingly, despite Harry Kane’s cowardly foul on the opening day of the season that put him out of action, Florian Lejeune actually started 24 of the 38 Premier League matches this season.

Like the rest of the team he suffered when playing in much of that awful October to December run of one point from nine games, but once he came in for an injured Ciaran Clark in February, he and Jamaal Lascelles never looked back.

Together, the central defenders were outstanding as starting with the 1-0 win over Man Utd, they helped Newcastle win five times in seven games with one draw and one defeat, as NUFC reached Premier League safety a month early.

That Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lascelles combination helped Newcastle concede only 11 goals in the final 12 matches.

The official Premier League piece also gives us these stats on the pair, with whisper it, but the stats actually suggesting Lejeune might have been even more impressive than Lascelles…

florian lejeune

I definitely can’t disagree with the conclusion to the PL piece which reads: ‘Provided both players remain fit, expect this developing central-defensive partnership to get even better in 2018/19. Both men are in their mid-twenties and working for a top-class coach, so there is scope for improvement as their connection grows.’

Premier League Official site:

‘Rafael Benitez made a lot of important decisions in 2017/18, but it hard to think of a better one than partnering Jamaal Lascelles with Florian Lejeune at the centre of the Newcastle United defence.

Lejeune ended up playing a crucial role as the promoted team finished 10th.

As a duo Lejeune and Lascelles gel wonderfully.

Both are tall and strong, but while Lascelles loves to get tight to opponents, Lejeune is more adept at reading the game.

Building from the back

The summer signing from Eibar spent two spells out with injury that restricted him to 24 appearances but made a difference when on the pitch.

His calmness on the ball helped Newcastle to pass through the lines and go from back to front with more quality.

A total of 23 per cent of the Frenchman’s passes were long and yet he still kept a pass accuracy of 77 per cent.

Leadership qualities

Lejeune, who was on the books of Manchester City in 2015/16, is also a natural leader.

The 26-year-old and Lascelles are always communicating and offering vocal encouragement.

While Lascelles has rightly earned widespread praise for his performances, his partner has been equally impressive. The numbers in the table below outline this.

He is dominant in the air and outstanding at breaking up play with interceptions.

Provided both players remain fit, expect this developing central-defensive partnership to get even better in 2018/19.

Both men are in their mid-twenties and working for a top-class coach, so there is scope for improvement as their connection grows.’

  • Geordiegiants

    I think we were all aware, that just one injury like this to a crucial member and it’s going to be an up hill battle this season.

  • Steven05

    Terrible news

    If this happened at another club, you could think ‘at least it’s happened now before the window has closed…’

    • Peter C

      The only positive ……… if you can call it that, is that it happened before the transfer window closed, and a replacement could be brought in, if Mike Ashley could be persuaded to part with some money, but we all know, how difficult that can be.

      So I have serious doubts it will happen, it’s been reported, even before the injury, Rafa wanted to bring in another defender, and if my memory serves me right, it was a left back.

      I believe this would be a sensible move, and as stated, Paul Dummett could cover centre half if needed.

      We currently have 3 fit recognised centre backs, Clark, Schar and Lascelles, for 2 centre back places.

      I know we run the risk, of being short of cover for the defence, if we have another injury in the back 4, but I can’t see both a full back and a new centre half, being signed.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Weak as kat`s pi$$ in every department and now we lose Lejeune,
    Fatso`s Newcastle is built on sand and the tides coming in, fast

    • Leicester Mag

      Well he’s certainly a Kanute

      • Geordiegiants

        You mean acunt? A fatcunt?

  • HarryHype59

    Fatty will be livid at the thought of having to spend money on a replacement. I think this is going to be a long difficult season, due to under investment on players.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Penfold will be hard at it looking for a freebie out of contract player

      • HarryHype59

        He may try to get Mbemba back on loan.

      • Peaky

        Willo is training at Gateshead 😳😳

      • Jezza

        Preferably one from China, big potential market for sportswear our there.

  • ghostrider

    Such a shame as he was turning into a quality CB.
    We’ll just have to wait for jhim to resume where he left off and in the meantime wish him a strong recovery.
    Let’s see how we cope without him.
    Hopefully we’ll be fine. I like Clark and the new lad could be handy. Let’s see.

  • Ba ba.

    Was turning into a great player… Looked a class act speedy recovery.. But its been said we are reo injuries away from disaster .

  • Leazes.

    We got away with it last season somehow, but when you get injuries to first teamers it starts to put strain on things and before you know it you have a snowballing crisis. Running the club on a shoestring does the same thing, and the season hasn’t started yet.

    We’ve now got a squad weaker than last season.

    What is the response going to be, a cheap replacement for Lejeune and another season that has ended before it began?

    • TheNutJob


    • Will In Despair!

      Oh dear, I really hope this isn’t a sign of things to come 😭

      (The Misery One Formerly Known as I Think Therefore I Am, Will)

  • GlasgowMag

    On the positive Mitro’s money will get a replacement, a new number 9&10 and will still leave fat boy with a 5mil profit from the sale!!! The joys of being a toon fan but then again apparently were all deluded anyway!!

    • TheFatController

      Fulham will probably be paying the first installment at around say £5m. So that’s what Rafa will be given, if everything that’s been said about the availability of money is true.

      • Leazes.

        And the Sissoko dosh.

    • Jezza

      I truly believe the the reinvestment from the Mitro sale went on Muto. There will be no more signings now unless another player is sold.

  • Peaky

    Joe Bryan needs now to be signed £6m ffs…..cover for Dummett…..then Dummett can play centre half if needed.

    • TheNutJob


    • Ba ba.

      Six million to a normal club is nothing but I’m afraid we are far from normal

    • Kneebotherm8

      No brainer that one……

    • Squintytoonarmy

      Might have to be a double swoop – they have a dog of a centre half in Aden Flint. Prem might be a step up but might be ok back up

      • Alan Rowbotham

        They did have, flint joined boro earlier this summer

        • Squintytoonarmy

          Bloody hell – missed that one

    • pedrodelgardo

      He is a very good player – good value in my amateur opinion at that price.

      • Peaky

        100% agree….and we’ll need to act quick (😂🤣😂) before West Ham hijack the deal…

    • Jezza

      There’s no way this regime will pay £6 million for defensive cover. That’s more than the budget for a first choice striker last summer.

      • Peaky

        I’ve no doubt you’ll be proved correct but we can hope.

  • Paul Patterson

    We all knew we were an injury or two away from a crisis. Let’s hope that’s the last of them . .

  • TheNutJob

    Rafa must practice yoga because any other manager would have exploded by now
    how he keeps calm is a mystery

  • Ba ba.

    Was this injury not the fans fault? ba ba dam those sheep dam them all.
    🐑 🐑

    • Toontaff

      Leave the sheep/wor lasses out of it!

      • Wor Lass

        Your moniker suggests you`re Welsh so I don`t suppose you`ll be leaving the sheep out of anything.

        • Toontaff

          They’ll all be wearing yellow jerseys today, when we storm the baaa-stille!

  • Tony English

    Terrible news, but maybe those who questioned Schar’s signing as a cheap squad filler should go to You tube and watch the 7minute video showing every pass and tackle he made in a game for Basle -v- Chelsea in 2014.

    Reads the game brilliantly and excellent long passing’ including an 80 yard pass onto a sixpence for the winner.

    He’ll prove to be a capable replacement.

  • Toontaff

    My SD bag’s up to over 100 grand! What to do with so many trainers and Toon tops? It’s weirdly therapeutic, maybe some help to all our resident trolls and trollbusters?

    • Leazes.

      Go for watches and football pin tables

  • Will In Despair!

    Hopefully, this won’t have any detrimental effect on his abilities and career once fully fit. The poor lad, my he make a full and quick recovery.

    As already touched upon, history shows that Newcastle were pretty lucky in the injuries dept last season.

    So could this possibly be a blessing in disguise? As Mr Lejeun’s misfortune could help prevent any (more) defender etc sales. Highly unlikely though, as cash talks big time with the odious one 🤯

    (The Misery One Formerly Known as I Think Therefore I Am, Will)

  • Lostprofit DBC

    So unlucky, two seasons in a row. Sure we are cursed. Might keep Lascelles at the club now though!

    • Leazes.

      Its going to be a bit harder for them to sell on the last day now….

    • Jezza

      The only thing that will keep Lascelles at the club will be no other clubs coming in for him. If a bid comes in Fatso will sell regardless of Lejeune’s injury.

      • Wezza

        Couldn’t agree more. Just because he is injured doesn’t mean MA won’t cash in. What rotten ownership.

  • Alreet

    And any question about needing a few more in, is erased. Schar could be first choice this season if hes up for it.

    Lets watch this space for another japanese defender. Wouldnt mind after the belgium match.

  • Anti Leazes faction

    I am expecting few on here to blame Ashley for Lejeune’s injury or
    Say Ashley caused injury to our CB

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      The Fat [email protected]@ks to blame for everything, now P1$$ Off

    • Virsino

      Dude, you can’t be a faction on your own!

      • Leazes.

        He’s got a brother.

    • Wezza

      Why are you trolling here? Simple question. Using guest so we can’t block you. Are you really that lonely?

    • Colin Brumwell

      Its all Ashley’s fault

  • Peter C

    This is the last thing that we needed to happen, a serious injury, to one of our better and key performers of last season.

    It would just be our luck, that another player soon, gets a further long term injury.

    Lets hope not.

  • Peaky

    Oh well that’ll save Golden Bollox Kane a job in a fortnights time…

  • mentalman

    We’ve got schar clark and dummett to cover at cb so i wouldn’t expect anyone else brought in to cover for this.

    Having said that there’s a few good cb’s available on free transfers

    • Leazes.

      We’ve also got a bus…. please don’t start bin dipping!

      • mentalman

        Isn’t that our transfer policy already

      • Arty Hume

        We are below bin dipping this year more shopping at car boot sales. Players sold and replaced with less value, only one way this is going, and its not good.

        • Will In Despair!

          Perhaps the preparation for the Championship, when every bit of the 💩 has well and truly hit the fan, including Mr Benitez being only a distant memory?

          Although, would we not keep Dwight Gayle 🙃

          (The Misery One Formerly Known as I Think Therefore I Am, Will)

    • Will In Despair!

      Oh my, this post itself proves with such validity how their PR machine has unfortunately won over so many fans. Correlating to how far we have fallen in such a short space of time, scraping around for freebies or buying unproving subpar players that are nothing more than a gamble – which is know the odious one does likey 🤪

      • Jezza

        Metalman is not a Newcastle fan, he is a troll who supports Manchester. Just block him.

        • mentalman

          Do you have any proof of this or just another of your foil hat ramblings

          • Mike Adam

            Maybe all of the rest of us should just block Jezza.

      • mentalman

        Its got nothing to do with their pr machine. We’ve got limited funds to spend and i mean by the owner, we needs numerous players throughout the team and we dont have the money to spend on them all again due to the owner.

        We have 4 players to play at cb so I’m sure rafa would rather strengthen a different position before bringing in another cb

  • Polarboy

    Absolutely gutted. Lejeune is pure class and I’m not surprised that the stats show he was even slightly outperforming Lascelles. Let’s pray that the damage to his cruciate is minimal and we can get him back as quick as possible.

  • Jimmy_toons

    Very bad news for him and the team. Recovery with rehab will take upto 8 months so we can write off the season for Lejeune now and a replacement is definitely needed. Unfortunately a replacement will be very unlikely, unless we can get in a freeby.
    This though isn’t a disaster. Earthquakes and out of control fires that kill people are disasters. Get some perspective The Mag ffs.

    • George Boyle

      In football terms it is a disaster obviously and am sure it was ment in that way not meaning it was life endangerment but premiere league survival mate

  • Wezza

    Such a blow this because he was very solid and formed a great partnership with Lascelles.

  • George Boyle

    Hopefully shar nd lascells form a good partnership and it wont be to much on our defensive cover but knowing our luck which is usually not great when it comes to injuries that we may just get away with lejeune being out for a few months hwtl