Florian Lejeune looks a good acquisition for Newcastle for £8.5M from Spanish club Eibar last summer, and he’s back as first choice after losing his place to injury.
He was scythed down by Harry Kane in the first 45 minutes of the season and was out for some time with his ankle injury.
But the Frenchman has got back into the side, and although he’s made one or two mistakes – like giving away a penalty at Southampton he looks like he’s improving under Rafa and getting used to the Premier League,
And in his interview in the program for the Bournemouth game, he comes across as a very ambitious player who is very keen to improve his game on Tyneside.
That’s the profile of players Rafa wants in the side and before he signed for Newcastle Rafa asked Florian what his ambitions were in football.
Florian told the manager he wants to play for France, and if he can keep his starting place in the Newcastle side and keep improving his performances, he can do that.
Florian Lejeune – in action for Newcastle
Newcastle United is a very high profile club in France.
This is some of his interview in last Saturday’s program.
“The Premier League is physical for sure, but sometimes players do silly things too.”
“And I think it was a silly tackle by the player (Harry Kane). I didn’t understand it,”
“I never received any apology for the tackle. Regardless of the team or player, it is important to punish such tackles.”
“I think that, on the whole, I have been solid in games. After two months off I am relatively happy.”
“Against Southampton, I was good despite giving away a penalty. I made a mistake due to a lack of rhythm and fitness, and being slightly off the pace.”
“And of course, I wanted to defend well, and perhaps tried a little too hard which made me make this mistake.”
“But against Palace, I think I was better. I felt better on the pitch and was physically better too.”
“So for the time being, I am very happy, and will get better.”
“My progress is good, and I am here at a big club in Newcastle with a great manager.”
“Rafa also asked me what my ambitions were and posed the same question.” “I told him I’d love to play for France.”
“And so if I want to do that, I need to do better things in training and in games – I need to do well for my club.”
“But for me, at present, the most important thing is to start for Newcastle and to put in good performances for the team.”
“I’m always learning and will certainly continue to do so,” “Now I can say I am playing at a level where I can be very proud.”
“And if I really want to kick on and go further, I am in the very best place to do that.”
Florian has started five games for Newcastle so far this season.
If everything goes according to plan Rafa will be improving the squad a lot in the next two transfer windows, and he has said he wants to improve the team in every single position.
That sounds good to us.
What do you think?