Joselu and Florian Lejeune – Outstanding end of season appraisals
La Liga minnows Alaves stayed up relatively comfortably in the end, with Florian Lejeune and Joselu quite clearly the key players.
Alaves ending the 2020/21 season in sixteenth, four points above the drop.
Staying up is most definitely an achievement for a small club such as Alaves (unlike say…Newcastle United!).
Throughout the season Florian Lejeune was getting rave reviews from the Spanish media despite playing for a club in a season-long relegation struggle.
These are the automated Whoscored ratings system results for the Alaves squad, the table showing who put in the best performances throughout the 2020/21 season:
As you can see, Joselu at the very top with an average rating for the 31 year old of 7.22, followed in second place by NUFC loan star Florian Lejeune.
Florian Lejeune has proved his fitness by starting 34 La Liga games and indeed, was only subbed off in one of them. His form also speaks for itself as he has held the Alaves defence together and helped guide them to safety.
Lejeune is now 30 and still has one year left on his existing Newcastle contract. He would be ideal, in my opinion, if Newcastle continue with three centre-backs next season, as he is especially comfortable playing as the left one of the three and can help get United playing better football from the back.
Considering the fact that under Steve Bruce the defence has gone from having been the seventh best in 2017/18 and 2018/19 when it comes to how many goals conceded, to now be the fifth worst in 2020/21, there is plenty room for improvement and Lejeune to play his part in that.
With Joselu, everything points to an outstanding season just gone.
He became the first ever player to score double figures in consecutive seasons for Alaves in La Liga, scoring 11 in 2020/21, the same total he managed in the league in 2019/20.
Also, the former Newcastle United striker finished way ahead of any other La Liga player last season in one department:
It is difficult not to compare Joselu’s achievements to Joelinton’s…
The £40m Brazilian has scored a grand total of six goals in 69 Premier League appearances for NUFC, whilst Joselu has scored 22 in 65 La Liga starts (plus seven sub appearances).
Mike Ashley having sold Joselu for less than £2m in summer 2019 before then paying more than twenty times as much for the Brazilian.
Interesting to see what happens with Florian Lejeune and Newcastle United this summer, whilst also keeping an eye on whether Joselu can keep his level of form going in La Liga.
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