Florian Lejeune, our £8.8M signing from Spanish club Eibar, had a decent debut at Tynecastle on Friday night and he looked like a good steady center-back in his first appearance for Newcastle.
He went close a couple of times to scoring from corners, so it looks like he may be able to get some goals for us next season in the Premier League.
Currently, Florian is the only new addition from last season’s squad but Newcastle are said to be working hard to bring Jacob Murphy from Norwich and Sheyi Ojo from Liverpool to Newcastle. on permanent deals.
Florian Lejeune in training in the rain with Matt Ritchie
But it’s been really slow going this summer – so far.
Local lad Paul Dummett has been interviewed in the Chronicle and he has said some good things about new boy Florian:
“The lads will all agree with me that since the first day of training he’s fit straight in.”
“He’s comfortable on the ball as we saw against Hearts and he’s a big unit and he’s strong as well – he’s also good in the air.”
“He has a lot of attributes he can bring to our team and he can bring a lot of competition.”
“It’s important to get rid of the rustiness because we’ve had eight weeks off without playing football.”
“It’s about getting rid of the rustiness, building the match fitness up and it’s nice to win the game too because you don’t want to lose.”
“The main priority was match fitness.”
“It’s been intense but we’ve done a lot of ball work as well.” “The manager had us doing the same last season and he’s keen to use the ball early.”
“We’ve been training as normal with running on top so it’s been enjoyable, which is probably not something you normally hear a lot from players.”
“What you want to do as a player is play with the ball and we’ve already been doing that so that’s great.”
Our next friendly is at Preston North End next Saturday afternoon and the lads are now in Dublin on a week-long training camp at Carton House.
Rafa will be wanting to ratchet it up a notch or two this week although we thought the lads looked good at Tynecastle.
Siem de Jong, Rolando Aarons and goalkeeper Rob Elliot were outstanding.