July 21, 2024

Florian Lejeune claims he would still be at Newcastle United if not for his significant knee injury.
When asked about his time at Newcastle United, Florian Lejeune confessed he ‘would have liked to settle down’.

The French defender joined Newcastle in 2017 and rapidly established himself as a key component in Rafael Benitez’s team during his first season. However, after two ACL injuries in the space of eight months, Lejeune fell out of favour with Steve Bruce.

He was then loaned out to La Liga club Alaves, which was later made permanent. The 32-year-old has since joined Rayo Vallecano and faced Newcastle at St James’ Park in a mid-season friendly during the 2022 World Cup break, which the Magpies won 2-1.

Lejeune has played for nine clubs in his professional career, with Newcastle being the only one where he has remained more than two seasons. The centre-back made 46 appearances for Newcastle, scoring his only two goals in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park in 2020.

And, if not for the ‘complex’ ailments, Lejeune told Le Figaro that he would’still be at Newcastle’.

“Two cruciates in eight months,” he explained. “It was a complicated period. I tried to put things in perspective, reminding myself that I still had many years ahead of me.”


Florian Lejeune Joins Alaves From Newcastle


“I would have wanted to settle down more [at Newcastle], but you have to be adaptable. We’re young; we can shift and adapt.

“You just need to be psychologically prepared. You should not be afraid of taking risks. If you just wait and persevere, you will be able to advance in your job.

Finally, Lejeune decided to leave St James’ Park in order to ‘feel happier’ and have more regular game time.

“While I had great economic and contractual security in Newcastle,” he went on to say. “First and foremost, it is a passion. As long as I know I’ll be on the bench during the weekend, I’m not interested. I’d rather go with a more humble team.”

Lejuene was relegated from La Liga with Alaves in 2021-22 before joining Rayo Vallecano, who are presently ranked 15th in the Spanish top flight.

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