Classy Former Club Eibar Vouch For Florian Lejeune’s Character


One of the things that was noticed last summer – when Rafa Benitez completely changed the Newcastle squad by bringing in 12 players and allowing 20 players to move out either permanently or on loan – was that he also dramatically changed the character of the squad.

He brought in players who wanted to play for Newcastle and play for the world-class manager.

Last season there were far too many players who couldn’t care less and that was epitomized by a Jamaal Lascelles blunt statement as he was sent off against Everton when we lost 3-0.

A serious looking Rafa Benitez with new signing Florian Lejeune yesterday
Smile Rafa – he’s a good player


Jamaal Lascelles – now captain of Newcastle – said while walking off the Goodison pitch said that nobody cares a f*** at the club.

Jamaal has a very good habit of telling it like it is – which we like a lot.

That’s one of the quotes from Mark Douglas’ excellent new book on Rafa – “Inside the Rafalution” – which I finally received yesterday.

And we saw an immediate improvement in the dressing room from the losing “couldn’t care less attitude” that existed under former manager Steve McClaren last season.

Our lads fought like crazy in some of last season’s matches against opposition we were supposed to beat – and it was great to see the guts and pride of the Newcastle players – they really cared.

And it seems Rafa has bought in another strong character in Florian Lejeune, with his former club sending out a classy tweet about their former player.

That’s a very nice touch from the Spanish club and we have an excellent player in Florian Lejeune.

The Frenchman will no doubt want to be one of the starting center-backs against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, August 12th when the Premier League kicks off at St. James’ Park and that’s great for competition.

The more we learn about Florian the better we like him.

🙂

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Note:

One of our readers Alex Wannop is completing in the GN 10K next Sunday and also the GN Run to collect funds for Tiny Lives, because the Trust provided lifesaving care for his son Isaac, when he was born by C-section and in some distress.

The Tiny Lives Trust funds the Special Care Baby Unit at the RVI where Alex’s son Isaac spent the first few weeks of his life.

Alex is appreciative of the work the great doctors and nurses did to save his son’s life and that’s why he’s raising money.

Please support this very worthwhile charity on Alex’s Just Giving page where there are pictures of his son Isaac – thanks.



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137 comments so far

  • corkypants

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #1

    Can’t wait to see this lad in action!!!!

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #2

    Not sure why people would turn their nose up at a player who averaged an assist every 3 games, despite being new to the Premier and in a side that was relegated. None of our current lot could even manage that last season in the Championship.

    His delivery and willingness to cross is something we don’t have in the squad. It might not suit Gayles style too well, but it gives us better options out wide and a different approach when needed.

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #3

    What a strange world where ten million is described as cheap! As centre backs go, I think we’ve done OK here.
    So, one conspiracy theory gone – we won’t have the same line up next season. That people considered that an option is bizarre.
    As it is, the smaller clubs in the league have a head start on us, but let’s, be honest, who even thought about this guy last season? Not me, I know that. So what other clubs don’t have is Rafa’s contacts in the game. Arsenal and Spurs were looking at him, so he must be canny. Rafa picked him, so that confirms it.
    We might not get household names this season, but as long as we get people Rafa trusts to carry out his instructions, we won’t go far wrong. They may well be household names next season. 🙂

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #4

    Hopefully the stories on Bakambu are mainly agent or media generated. Would hope we are looking at better than that as at the prices quoted they would likely be first choice, and they really aren’t as good as people seem to think. £25million for Bakambu makes Mitro and Gayle about £30-40million.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #5

    Bobby,
    Surely the same starting 11 option went the same time Anita did?

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  • Bambams

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #6

    Its one over the line and I have to put my hand up I was worried Ash was playing games again.

    Let’s hope more quality players follow.

    In RAFA we trust

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #7

    Lil, you might have missed it, but some people were genuinely claiming we were wouldn’t sign anybody this season. I suppose you could argue Anita wasn’t a regular by the season’s end. That said, it was more a joke comment about previous joke comments.

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  • hibbit

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #8

    Lilon @ 4

    that bad ❓

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  • hibbit

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #9

    can’t get my head round Mitro being worth 30/40 million

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #10

    Bobby,
    I’ve not been on much and commented even less, but I’d noticed that quite a few were worrying over signings. In fairness, it was a genuine concern regarding the lack of movement (both in and out) but taken too far by some. I’d have hoped for a couple more by now, and I’m sure Rafa would feel the same.

    I’d be very happy with us getting Loftus Cheek and Chalobah from Chelsea, I seem to remember seeing Chalobah was stalling over a new deal so he could be cheaper than expected (based on Ake) and could well be permanent. Loftus Cheek on loan without an option to buy isn’t ideal, but given Conte looks set to spend on Monaco’s young midfielder, a season with us could still lead to him joining if he sees little future and enjoys his time up north. I’d take both Chambers and Gibbs if they are available. Chambers in particular would have a great opportunity to grow under a defensive minded coach such as Rafa. Gibbs injury record is a worry, but £8million for a proven left back is a good price, and he is meant to be very down to earth and willing to help and work with younger players – a good role model for Gibson perhaps?

    Despite the numerous links I’m yet to see a Centre forward linked that genuinely excites me. Aboubakar and Bakambu aren’t the answer as first choice, and the price quoted for the latter is ludicrous. That’s my big worry I think, but hopefully there is someone under the radar that we are looking at.

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  • ToonRich

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #11

    Forget Aboubakar and Bakambu, they are not worth the quoted fees. If we are going to smash our transfer record, I would much rather we spend £20-30m on Batshuayi or Iheanacho. Both have shown they can sore in the league given the chance. Or a cheaper option would be J.Hernandez!!

    Would anyone take Abel Hernandez from Hull??

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #12

    Lil, I’m not overly concerned with the time – better late etc. As for incoming, I’m not paying any attention to the links, so not really considering what this or that player might bring to the squad. The vast majority aren’t real links anyway, just paper talk and I’m happy for Rafa to just surprise me with who we actually get. I certainly don’t expect him to advertise who he wants so I just ignore the 160+ players we’ve been told we’re looking at. We’ll get who we get and I see no point fretting over something I can’t affect. I want my ticker to last me a lifetime after all. 🙂

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  • ToonRich

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #13

    they can score* in the league

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  • AncientC

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #14

    I can tell you categorically now, the club will not be breaking, or indeed “smashing” the club transfer fee record.

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  • optimistic prime

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #15

    If Carlsberg did condisending…….

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  • ilovetoon8788

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #16

    I think our next signing will be when the premier league begins.. This is it for pre season.

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  • clinath@ed

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #17

    Thought we’d have more Loanees in by now, till we catch up financially with the Prem League regulars. More purchases in January if/when necessary…

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  • AncientC

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #18

    I am sure nearly everybody expected the signing of Lejeune, such were the strength of the rumours, and the fact that no other top flight clubs were showing any genuine interest in signing him.

    I will be impressed when the club can beat the likes of West Brom to a signature. Tempered expectations, eh. Imagine saying that 20 years ago.

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  • corkypants

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #19

    Toonrich,
    I would rather have shola back than un-Abel Hernandez

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #20

    Hibbit,
    4 years older than Mitro with less goals and less assists in more games. Very inconsistent, scores in patches then can go on long runs with nothing. £25million? No chance.

    Bobby,
    Most links will have a hint of truth. We may have had a scout watch the player, which gets translated to being interested even if the scout decides he isn’t good enough.

    Yeah, better late than never, but the later they come in the more difficult it gets to prepare fully how you want to play and setup. We’d play a very different way if Gayle starts as our main striker than we would if Giroud arrived a week later. Yet all pre season would have been geared to Gayle, or a gamble on the hope that Giroud does come(Just using Giroud as an example).

    I’m certain Rafa would be happier with greater clarity on his squad. He may not advertise who he wants, but it is increasingly difficult to make signings without any whispers getting out.

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  • hibbit

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #21

    ac @14

    what makes you so sure ??
    £17m doesn’t seem a lot to beat these days

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #22

    Lilongwe…there is absolute nothing fancy about Kamil Grosicki…not even when just look at the stats. Each to your own of course – it all depends on what you find amazing I suppose.

    He has:
    12 starts for Hull and 3 as a sub; 3 assists; PS% 72.1 and an raring of 6.59. Hooray!!!

    I don’t know if that’s better than what we got or as you say if Grosicki even fit the style of Gayle (which might be important)…

    Any way just wanted to leave my thoughts…

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #23

    ToonRich,
    I forgot about Chicharito. He is the one that is most appealing and by a long distance.

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  • ToonRich

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #24

    I’d take Zlatan atm…!!

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #25

    Jesper,
    I never said he was fancy. Just a winger who loves to deliver balls into the box that would add another option and style within our squad. At £10million he is a better option than a lot of others.

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  • ToonRich

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #26

    Lilongwe, £10m would probably get Ince, Jacob or Josh Murphy?

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  • AncientC

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #27

    hibbit, because the club doesn’t currently have more than £17 million to spend on one player… besides, players within that price bracket normally have competition for their signatures, and Ashley would appear to have already instructed Charnley to stay out of competing for players.

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #28

    I fully intend to remain optimistic. Just like season’s end, when many said we’d blown not only the title, but possibly automatic promotion, I remained confident we hadn’t. I claimed it would be tight and go down to the wire and luckily, I was right.
    I also said this season would be difficult. We’re catching up because of relegation and top six or eight? I wish! We’ll survive comfortably imo purely because Rafa will get the best out of whoever comes in.
    Judging by the meltdowns last season, this season will be even worse on here, because we certainly won’t be winning anywhere near as many games as we did last season. Be prepared.
    It’s onwards and upwards from here. Far from leaving I maintain Rafa will sign an extension to keep him here even longer. That’s based purely on logic – he won’t achieve his targets in three seasons so he has no choice! 🙂
    This is the beginning. As long as Ashley backs Rafa as agreed, we’ll improve season on season. How far he can take us remains to be seen. Ideally Ashley will sell up and the new owners will agree to give Rafa the same leeway, although that may be a stumbling block – only time will tell on that front.
    For now though, my glass is definitely half full. Onwards and upwards.

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  • clinath@ed

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #29

    The wages a player would demand is surely linked to their price tag. As ASHLEY bags the too together when buying then that would limit the amount he is prepared to spend on one player.

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  • Mag52

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #30

    .

    Can anyone confirm if Nicksohn, the new scouting supremo, greeted Lejeune with the words “For you Frenchie, ze transfer vindow ist over” ?

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  • Toon from South Africa

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #31

    Agree with Lil…none of our wingers had a better assist ratio than him and he was new to Epl..Also playing at a higher level..Its a no brainer,in today’s inflated market..his valued at a good pice and will improve our squad..I watched hull play a few times..His quick,tricky,direct and likes to cross which will help mitrovic…Rafa also likes wingers who has a high work rate..I hope this is true..this season is all about having a solid squad to compete with mid table,then next season Rafa can add a few better quality players..Add that too a solid squad and worldclass manager..Future looks bright…I was also thinking ,if we dont sell hanley then maybe mbemba is going to play as a rb

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  • Toon_Tom

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #32

    Anyone else think Lejeune looks like a skinny Rob Elliott? 😐

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  • Jib - Jazzy's mardy bitch

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #33

    I would swap Aleksandar Mitrovic for Fernando Llorente
    Sorry Welshie
    🙁

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #34

    Lilongwe…at least we bought top level championship players when we were relegated…not sure that is going to happen in terms of players that fits a promotion campaign.

    Grosicki does not fir that bill if you ask me. Didn’t Richie cost £10M?

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #35

    So that’s my short term prediction for the Toon. Anybody else?

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  • AncientC

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #36

    Mag52, Nickson had Lejeuene sign his contract inside the Compiègne wagon.

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  • mindcompressor

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #37

    Grosicki is coming back to UK today, so maybe something will move on his transfer too. Plenty of media in Poland speaks about this possible transfer… That would be great. He can do much better than in Hull last season. Apart of that, he is my fav Polish player 🙂 If we got Mitro next season, finally he can receive proper crosses to fight in the air 🙂

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  • Ron Knee

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #38

    Mark Douglas:-

    The good news is United are beginning to look more business-ready. Two more deals are fairly advanced and, with a fair wind, Newcastle may be able to announce another player before they head off to Ireland.

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  • RUNAWAY777

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #39

    Is it just me or does rafa not look that happy on that picture.

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  • corkypants

    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #40

    Let’s just trust Rafa and see what unfolds!!

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