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Florian Lejeune tells Spanish media why he left Newcastle United to join Alaves on loan

2 weeks ago
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Friday morning saw confirmation that Florian Lejeune had left St James Park.

The deal is a one year loan to Alaves initially, but very unlikely that we will see the Frenchman back at Newcastle, certainly whilst Steve Bruce is still here.

The central defender joins up with Joselu, the former NUFC striker a surprise hit with 11 La Liga goals last season.

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 last (2019/20) 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, when scoring twice in injury time for an unlikely 2-2 draw.

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 finalise a permanent move back to Spain at some point.

Now Florian Lejeune has met the Spanish media for a press conference to talk about his arrival at Alaves, with Marca carrying these quotes:

” I’m going to give it my all and try to restore the trust they [Alaves] have placed in me on the playing field,” and he talked about his reunion with Pablo Machín .

“We have been talking for a long time to close my arrival.

“It is always better to meet [former] colleagues [Lejeune having played alongside Joselu and Pere Pons previously, plus played under Pablo Machin as well before] when you arrive at a new club. The coach already trusted me in my time in Girona and now I hope he will do the same, I will work for it and also to earn the trust of my colleagues.

“With Rafa Benitez I did play more at Newcastle but last year between injuries and the change of coach [Steve Bruce] I couldn’t play as much as I wanted.

“Now I needed to play and have the coach’s confidence [now at Alaves].

“I’m fine, I’ve done all the preseason with Newcastle and played some friendlies.

“Last week it was a bit strange to train with the team and then alone, since the arrangements to come to Alavés were very advanced.”

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