Florian Lejuene became a big favourite of the Newcastle fans as he made the transition from La Liga to Premier League with a minimum of fuss.

The 27 year old making a great partnership with Jamaal Lascelles that helped take the team to early Premier League safety with over a month of the season remaining.

However, after last night’s game with Porto, Rafa Benitez revealed (see below) that the French defender had an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury.

An operation needed and a projected absence into 2019 and potentially missing the whole season.

Florian Lejeune has now released a personal statement to both fans and teammates, pledging to ‘come back stronger to help my teammates and Newcastle United the best I can.’

Good luck!

Florian Lejeune via his Instagram account:

“During my last training session, I left the field due to an injury.

“After further medical examination, the Doctor told me I have an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury.

“I’ll have surgery in the next few days.

“This injury will certainly keep me away from the pitch during a good part of the season.

“I’ll do everything I can to get back as quickly as possible on St James Park pitch.

“I’ll come back stronger to help my teammates and Newcastle United the best I can.”

The Mag – Earlier Today (Sunday 29 July 2018):

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.’

  • Leicester Mag

    Good player and a real loss. Hope all well and he’s back soon as possible especially given Mr Creosote’s love for a waifer thin squad

    • ghostrider

      We didn’t have a thin squad.

      • MancToon

        So who’ll come in and replace him and do just as good a job?

      • SuperDesHamilton

        A s*** squad then

        • ghostrider

          Clearly not. We finished 10th.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Clearly is then, and it’s even worse this season

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Serious injury loss.

  • Mrkgw

    Did my ACL in the first half of the 90’s and never kicked a ball again following an unsucessful op/rehabilitation. Horrendous injury. At least he will get the best treatment out there. Good luck Florian.

  • Tino11

    I wish this was really just a master plan by Rafa so that Lascelles doesn’t get sold, Rafa revealing the day after the transfer window shuts that Lejeune’s injury is not as bad as everyone thought and he will be fit soon, sadly this won’t be the case. I hope Lejeune makes it back for some of the season at least, we are probably going to need all the help we can get at the end of the season!

  • BillytheFish

    Speedy recovery, in the top 3 players at the club, and we look a much better side with Florian in that back 4…..

  • Toon

    Shame as a good player, looked great at the back end of last season. Obviously written off as a dud by the ‘no it alls’ on here when signed but that’s just the way it is. This could be a big miss, needs replacing but doubt it will happen

  • robbersdog

    Bad news; we’re a man down, and he’s one of our better players, before a ball has been kicked in anger.

    Will Ashley sanction the purchase of another decent centre-half? It’s a rhetorical question – we all know the answer.

    • Ram Kishore

      The window is still open we will have to wait and see before making a assumption. Transfer windows have always been filled with surprises

  • Ba ba.

    Good luck and speedy recovery

  • Dillon Tovak

    Gutting. Get well soon.

  • Jonathan Gibson

    Devestated..best pairing in PL