Florian Lejeune set for move and play alongside Joselu once again – Reports
Florian Lejeune is on his way out of Newcastle United.
Reports on Wednesday afternoon saying the centre-back is set to return to La Liga, initially on loan.
Both the Chronicle and Shields Gazette say that Alaves is looking the most likely destination, the Spanish club ending last season in 16th, three points and two places behind Lejeune’s former club Eibar.
Florian Lejeune arrived at St James Park for a reported £8.9m fee in summer 2017.
In his first season, the Frenchman made 24 Premier League starts and helped Newcastle finish tenth in the top tier after promotion.
However, it has been a case of diminishing returns ever since, only 12 starts in 2018/19 and then a measly four PL starts under Steve Bruce last season.
Two serious ACL knee ligament injuries have played a big part in the lack of matches.
However, after making four starts in an 11 day stretch over the festive period this season, Steve Bruce appeared to decide the centre-back wasn’t for him. Named on the bench a number of times after that but only getting on the pitch twice more in the league, the last of those in that spectacular finish against Everton in January. Florian Lejeune coming off the bench and after NUFC didn’t have a kick all night and should have been dead and buried, the big defender hilariously scored two goals in injury time (see above) to rescue a very unlikely point.
Recently it was claimed that Steve Bruce was looking to move out both Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar, another central defender who Bruce made clear he didn’t rate last season. Both players popular with Newcastle fans but Steve Bruce seemingly not keen on footballing centre-backs.
Last Saturday, Florian Lejeune was one of a significant number of players missing from the NUFC squad against Stoke, but whilst Steve Bruce listed injuries afterwards for a number of those missing, no mention made of the Frenchman amongst them.
The claim is that Florian Lejeune will go out now on loan for the season but difficult to see him ending up back in the Newcastle team after that. By the end of this season he will have turned 30 and with Bruce appearing to not rate him, plus only a year left on his NUFC contract by then, he will surely make a permanent move back to Spain at some point.
If Lejeune does indeed join Alaves on loan, he will be reunited with Joselu, the former NUFC striker a massive surprise hit last season with Alaves, scoring 11 La Liga goals to help keep them up.
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