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Newcastle’s Top Defender Now Linked With A Move To La Liga

Newcastle literally took months to get Frenchman Florian Lejeune signed up last summer even though we had activated the release clause in his contract at Eibar.

Exactly what Lee Charnley and company were doing during that time is a good question.

It’s something that Rafa wants to simplify and speed up this summer.

Florian looked a good player in preseason but was injured in the first half of our first league game against Tottenham and in came Jamaal Lascelles.

Lejeune found it difficult to get back into the team with Ciaran Clark in fine form but he got his chance and in the second half of the season and was a star in our defense and looked an outstanding player.

We expect Florian to be even better next season as he continues to partner Lascelles at the back.

Florian Lejeune – in action against Arsenal

It took some time for Lejeune to recover from the foot injury inflicted on him by a poor tackle from England striker Harry Kane in that first game of the season.

There’s news from Spain today that new Sevilla boss Pablo Machin wants to build the defense around him at Sevilla.

The two were together at Girona in the 2015-2016 season when Lejeune was loaned out by his new club Manchester City to the Spanish club.

The outlet Estadio Deportivo are claiming that Machin wants him at Sevilla, but we don’t expect Newcastle to sell unless we get silly money for him.

Newcastle spent £8.7M on him last summer, and Rafa would want more than twice that amount if he was to leave this summer.

Lejeune looks like he could become a real star at Newcastle, and as we said earlier, he has looked an excellent defender this year as he got more experience playing in the Premier League.

Florian is cool, calm and collected at the back and good on the floor and in the air and he seems to love working with Rafa Benitez.

Jamaal Lascelles is also wanted by Everton and Chelsea, so it’s good our players are getting some recognition from top clubs – it shows they are outstanding players.

Both Lascelles and Lejeune look like they have an excellent partnership in the making at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

70 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #1

    Nearly caught me out there Ed. 🙂

    What do people think of the Green card idea, sounds like a very sensible alternative to a straight red to me.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #2

    He’s a £30m at least player and shouldn’t be sold, end of!

  • jayphoto

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #3

    Really like LeJeune, hope he stays, shaky start but once he was up and running after christmas he was our best defender for me, can ping a pass too, so cool under pressure. Lascelles and Lejeune as our CBs really were our rocks last season, they are the 2 absolutely unsellable assets for me, everyone else probably has a price but a settled centreback pairing is priceless

  • jayphoto

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #4

    @Tsunki – forgot about Mitro, so thats one player, on loan elsewhere, that will probably never play another toon game? Have we ever had a world cup with less Newcastle interest? Watching England vs Nigeria, don’t think its the rose tinted but England really should have found a place for Shelvey and Lascelles. Based on his 2018 form aswell id be surprised if Senegal hadn’t reached out to Diame to reconsider intl retirement!

  • jayphoto

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #5

    @essex – agree.. if Keane was a 25m player a year ago, lejeune is worth more! Similarly, hes as good on the ball as stones who was a 50m player…

  • lochinvar

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #6

    More claptrap from ignorant hacks. Just think of a player, any player, make up a story, print it.
    Or play the alphabet game, Joselu, King, Lejeune etc Tedious as it is predictable.
    Wonder what they’ll come up with they get to X, Xisco I expect.
    Can’t wait until we’re linked with Zoolander.


  • scott

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #7


    Shelvey should of had Fabian Delph’s seat on the plane as he can offer something different but Fabian is just more of the same old,same old!

  • Toonces

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #8

    Think Delph (and Cheek) got the nod as he would be somewhat similar to Ox, who went down with injury.

    Shelvey was never going to be picked by Southgate. He won’t have a shot at Euros in two years time either if Southgate is still the England manager. Not necessarily fair to Shelvey but just the way it is.

  • Mag52

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #9


    Agreed. Shelvey for Delph. Otherwise a pretty fair selection by Southgate which should give a reasonable account of themselves in Russia.

  • jayphoto

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #10

    @Toonces – agree..somethings obviously gone on when he had the u21s… Sounds minor but even in April saw Shelvey refer to him simply as ‘Southgate’ which is odd for a player to do as its slightly disrespectful. Something tells me Southgate will be in the job for at least another 4 years, maybe longer… hes cheap, cheerful and without scadal, wont get offered a better job at a club side etc, a dream for the FA

  • Munster Mag

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #11

    I have an innate Irish fear that england are going to do very well….

  • G

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #12

    Speaking about the World Cup is anybody actually excited about England going into a tournament under Southgate? I cannot remember a World Cup where I was so uninterested in my national side? Quarter finalists at best.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #13

    There’s, no way on this planet Rafa is going to sell Lejeune and Lascelles. Yet that’s what the loonies in the press are suggesting.
    Go back just a couple of weeks and see what Jamaal had to say.
    “I’ve never been happier in my life. I’m captain of a great club with a great manager. I need to be playing at my age and I am here. The fans love me and I love them”.
    OK, players say things, but everything he says there rings true. Happiness is difficult to find in life, so why would you gamble? He will move eventually, unless something big happens here, but time is definitely on his side. And when he does go, I can’t imagine a sideways move to Everton will be it.
    Lejeune took Rafa a lot of effort to sign and he and Lascelles are a perfect partnership.
    Being an optimist and staying on the side that Rafa will get his way – although it might go to the wire. Ashley has told Penfold to get him signed, so time will tell.
    52k adoring Toon fans or thirty odd thousand whining scousers? What would you pick? 🙂

  • G

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #14

    On the Lascelles debate, this is from a feature on today’s f365:

    Jamaal Lascelles
    Everton are the latest club to be linked with Lascelles, but the Newcastle skipper could be forgiven for thinking he could take a bigger step up the ladder if he is to leave St James’ Park.

    And that’s a pretty big ‘if’ in Lascelles’ case. The centre-half has it good on Tyneside, where he has become one of the Toon Army’s most popular players, not just because of the performances that went a long way to helping the Magpies secure a top-half finish, but because of the leadership qualities the 24-year-old has displayed off the pitch.

    But it is also fair to assume that Lascelles will be watching closely how Mike Ashley and Newcastle look to build upon their impressive tenth-place finish, which did not quite reflect the struggle Benitez’s men endured for much of the season. Lascelles has credited much of his development to Benitez so you would imagine that the captain’s future is strongly linked to that of the manager’s.

    Lascelles, who doesn’t turn 25 until November, could likely handle the step up now, but he has time on his side. “This is the right club for me at the right time,” he said last month, amid links with Liverpool and Chelsea, while Marco Silva’s Toffees are said to be considering a £30million offer. If his development continues in similar fashion next season, then you can expect the big boys to register a much firmer interest, while Newcastle’s asset is only likely to increase in value.

  • lochinvar

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #15

    Silva is now trying to ( and I think this is the popular expression ) ” big himself up ” to the Fans and Club owners.
    Liverpool supporters must be in hysterics at their neighbours efforts to talk up their position. He already looks out of his depth. A few poor performances and getting mullered in a Merseyside derby will cause them to have a rethink, again.

    New Everton manager Marco Silva says the “door is open” for Wayne Rooney to stay, despite his talks with DC United.
    Rooney, 32, has spoken with the Major League Soccer side, but has a year left on his Everton deal.
    In his first news conference as Everton boss, Silva said he had a small list of ‘big name’ transfer targets but had not ruled out Rooney staying on.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #16

    G, I have far more interest in the Toulon Tournament than the WC mate. Woody keeping them out and Arma creating and scoring goals for fun – and well on course for England’s player of the tournament to boot. Semi final tomorrow and I’ll be glued to the box. My own fault, I really should stop sniffing it! 🙂 (jest by the way).
    The WC just isn’t exciting me. Granted that might change when it starts, but right now? Naw.
    It’s not just that we aren’t represented either. Our entire attacking plan is simply ‘get it down the flanks and cross for Kane’.
    That’s fine, until teams neutralise that option. What then? If not Jonjo, surely Wilshire had to go. One of them would give us a plan B.

  • Moonraker15

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #17

    I see Gazza’s been spouting off again about the Toon. Apparently we need to spend more money on better players if we want to finish higher than 10th!
    That blokes brilliant lad! 🙂

  • martoon

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #18

    G @14 – I think that article is just padded out ‘reporter speak’ for what we’ve basically been saying on here.

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #19

    The central pairing of Lascelles and Lejeune needs to be kept. Can only get better as time progresses. With Dubravka between the posts a good understanding between the three can only mean less goals against us next season.

  • Jib

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #20

    Can you believe Joachim Löw has left
    Leroy Sané out of the German squad ?

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #21

    Loch, I’m inclined to agree with you matey. Look what happened when he was at Watford. They were flying along, playing some really good football until a slight bit of pressure came his way in the shape of interest from Everton. He fell to bits.
    Everton are a bigger club than Watford and the pressure is even more so. The fans are a lot less forgiving and as you point out, what happens when Liverpool batter them?
    For one, whoever he signs will invariably get the blame along with him. Lascelles would be crazy to go there and he’s not – far from it.
    I think he’ll stay for a minimum one more, season, depending on how that goes.
    Rafa is crucial in all this. If he signs a new contract – any time between now and the old one running out – I think he’ll stay at least one more after that. Then the big boys will likely make a stupid offer even Rafa won’t refuse if he can use it to build further.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #22

    Moonraker, aye, I saw that myself. 🙂 Didn’t Gazza get one of those dodgy degrees from a university? Must have been for ‘Stating the bleeding obvious!’ Got to love him though. 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #23

    Jay…If you look at both the stats from players and league position it makes perfect sense Shelvey and Lascelles are not in the England team…

    …and taking in to account non of them figured in the games prior to the WC. I don’t think there’s anything to be angry about…

  • lesh

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #24

    As long as Ashley continues to pi$$ Rafa about over his requirements and thus his contract extension, there’ll be speculation over our better players’ furtures at the club. They’ll see or hear about it and possibly affected by it thus running the risk of unsettling the squad.

    Ashley’s not daft enough to know that and he’ll be using it to add pressure to Rafa and the club’s pre-season preparations which are due to begin in early July when the players are due to report back for training.

    Dubs was bought out of the current financial year’s budget and as it ends on June 30 with the last instalment of the 2017/18prize/ TV money not due until July so what can we expect in terms of incomers? Probably none – unless some players are sold or off the payroll in June.

    Ashley knows exactly what he’s doing by seemingly ignoring Rafa’s stated requirements and to Rafa’s credit, he’s behaving in very professional manner while Ashley’ll be content to screw him again in the hope that we’ll survive the coming season and a major thorn in his side – Rafa, will probably be off at the end of his contract.

    Prophet of doom? Not me, just one who’s not blind to Ashley’s parsimony and lies. What we call in the trade, a realist – not one who sits over a PC all day living in a virtual world while playing at being smart-arse!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #25

    Senor Tuff…keeping some stability at the back would be a welcome approach…but we need better fullbacks I think

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #26

    Lesh, don’t do yourself down like that mate – you make a very good smart arse. 🙂

  • Jib

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #27

    Ha ha ha
    Lesh doesn’t play at being a smart -arse
    He’s real serious about it

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #28

    Jib and Bobby…you don’t keep many friends in high or low places do you 😉

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #29

    Sorry Jesper, my humour way way over your head is it? You truly are a twonk.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #30

    Yeah Bobby that’s it 😉

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #31

    You’re one of those sneaky horrible people who loves stirring the dirt and then sitting back. Sometimes people drop a bit of humour in there to diffuse a potential row. You just love it.
    Lesh should be well aware by now that I have no beef with him, so is likely to take that how it was meant. Keep your nose out, as you like to tell others. It wasn’t addressed to you, which you seemed to feel was really important yesterday.
    And if he didn’t realise it was a bit of fun at first – the smiley face? – he will now. Jerk.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #32

    You’re a hoot and a half an all sorts of levels ( and directions)

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #33

    Which one of you have a beef with Lesh?

  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 4, 2018 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #34

    Jesper………. I realise that you are a full time house husband now, but were you ever a statistician by profession?

  • SuperShearer

    Jun 4, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #35

    Personally, suspect Rafa is playing a very smart game with his contract. He’s probably said, “in principle, I’ll sign this deal… however, unless you back me in this window I will not and I will see out the last year of my contract before walking away” – puts him in a massive position of power. MA can then either back him as he has “promised” in the past in order to ensure Rafa sticks around long-term OR he can gamble, not back him, see where Rafa gets us next season and then look to gamble again. Either way… Rafa wins.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #36

    Bobby couldn’t you just come with a disclaimer saying everything I say is me and my other personality trying to be funny (mostly on your expense of course)

    …would save us all a lot of trouble (there’s a few others on here who should live by that advise as well)

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 4, 2018 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #37

    So, Pickford gets the number one shirt for England. Did anybody else think he ducked under that shot on the last day of the season?

    Now Palace are in trouble with the taxman. Seems they haven’t presented their returns yet and face a potential backlash. Wonder what they’ve got to hide? 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #38

    No Betsy! Are statistics hard on you by any chance (they are for a lot old timer)

  • Jib

    Jun 4, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #39

    Carlo Ancelotti – Maurizio Sarri’s replacement at Napoli
    has paid Rafa a huge compliment.

    He says he is going to dismantle what Sarri did and go
    back to the time when Benitez was boss because what
    the Spaniard created was pretty damn close to perfection.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jun 4, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #40

    Which part do find the hardest Betsy?
    Is it the numbers? The highest is usual the best and you take the next highest and so forth!

    Maybe it would be easier if you had an example?


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