Benitez has confirmed that Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune will return to face Liverpool on Sunday, stating the French centre-back missed the Brighton game as a precaution after receiving treatment on an ankle problem.
The new £8.7m signing impressed over pre-season but has not appeared since the opening day of the season, with Harry Kane’s mistimed tackle leaving the Frenchman with ankle ligament damage – an injury he has taken time to recover from.
He has clearly had some ongoing discomfort around his ankle over recent weeks and missed Brighton on Sunday as a result, however Rafa Benitez has since confirmed that he will return to the squad for Sunday’s game with Liverpool after receiving treatment:
“He was available but he is still feeling a little bit of discomfort in his ankle after the Tottenham game.
“He will get some treatment and we will be available for the next game.
“We want him to recover, and we want him fully fit.
“It’s not too serious it’s just discomfort and we don’t want to take any risks.”
After missing Huddersfield and West Ham through injury, he has been an unused substitute in wins over Swansea and Stoke and sat out of the Brighton game.
He was hugely impressive over pre-season and could bring an air of class and calmness to the back four if his previous displays are anything to go by, but it remains to be seen if he will take the place of Lascelles or Clark for Sunday’s game with Liverpool.
Lejeune looks like he could be the ball-playing centre-back we’ve sorely lacked over the years and I look forward to seeing him thrown back into the mix soon enough.
— Josh (@joshgoodfelloww) July 27, 2017