This 26-year Old French Defender Would Be An Excellent Signing For Newcastle United

Florian Lejeune

Why Florian Lejeuene Will Be A Good Signing For Newcastle United

According to reports from the Chronicle, Newcastle United are close to signing defender Florian Lejeune from Spanish La Liga outfit Eibar. The 26-year old French defender has been identified as a key target by manager Rafael Benitez and the club are set to trigger the £8.7million release clause in his contract. Lejeune has been on the radars of several other clubs too, but the Magpies have acted the fastest and a move is expected to be completed soon.

Newcastle made it back to the Premier League, after they won the EFL Championship to seal automatic promotion and Benitez has been working relentlessly to add new faces to the squad in order to build a team that will be able to compete strongly in the English top-flight. They have already managed to secure the transfer of winger Christian Atsu from Chelsea, after the Ghanaian impressed while on loan at the St. James’ Park last time around.

The central defensive area is something that the gaffer has been keen on improving upon. Newcastle have good options in captain Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark, who forged a very good defensive partnership in the second division last season. And they have a solid option in Chancel Mbemba to operate as the backup.

However, Benitez believes that more quality is needed if his team are to put up a strong display on their return to the top division. The likely departure of last summer’s signing Grant Hanley does open up a space in the squad for a new centre-back.

Lejeune will be an excellent addition to their ranks. The Frenchman played a very important role in helping Eibar finish 10th in the La Liga last season. He finished the season with 34 league appearances, scoring one and setting up another one.

Standing tall at 6ft 3in, Lejeune has the physical attributes to impose himself on the forwards and can be an intimidating presence at the back. His height allows him to dominate the aerial duels with great ease. Last season, Lejeune won a whopping 108 headed duels from a total of 139 attempts (78% success).

He also has the ability to carry the ball out of the defence and can pick a pass from the deeper areas to find his teammates in the advanced positions too. He has displayed the maturity to not dive into tackles and possesses a strong anticipation for danger. The fact that he can play in a defensive midfield role as well, gives the manager an extra option.

In the current state of the transfer market, it is very difficult to find a quality defender at a reasonable price. The fact that Newcastle will have to just pay a meagre £8.7million to sign Lejeune, who has displayed great quality, will no doubt be an absolute bargain for the club, making him a very shrewd buy.

Written by Raghavendra Goudar

Mechanical Engineer, avid reader and a football fanatic.

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