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Newcastle United official announcement: Florian Lejeune moves back to La Liga

1 week ago
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A Newcastle United official announcement on Friday morning has confirmed that Florian Lejeune has 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 will join up with Joselu, the former NUFC striker a surprise hit with 11 La Liga goals last season. We wish both him and Florian Lejeune the best of luck this season.

With Florian Lejeune moving out and also ongoing claims that Bruce wants to get Fabian Schar out of Newcastle as well, it raises the strong possibility that a new centre-back, almost certainly on loan, is set to come in.

Newcastle United official announcement:

‘Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune has completed a loan move to Spanish La Liga side Deportivo Alavés for the duration of the 2020/21 season.

Lejeune will be reunited with former Magpies teammate Joselu, who arrived at the Mendizorrotza Stadium last summer, as well as manager Pablo Machín, who coached him during his time at Girona during the 2014/15 season.

Lejeune has made 44 appearance for Newcastle United since joining from Eibar in summer 2017, scoring twice – with both goals coming in stoppage time during a dramatic 2-2 draw at Everton in January 2020.’

The Mag on Wednesday (9 September 2020):

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.

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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