Newcastle are closing in on their second signing of the summer, with reports from local press revealing in recent days that Florian Lejeune’s £8.7m move from Eibar to Newcastle is imminent.
The Frenchman is set to travel to Tyneside to complete his medical this week and is expected to be unveiled as a Newcastle United player in by the end of the week.
The 6ft 3 centre-back is an unknown quantity to several NUFC fans, but fear not. Sky Sports’ La Liga pundit Terry Gibson has spoken out since news of his pending move to Newcastle, describing Lejeune to be ‘tailor-made’ for the Premier League.
Here’s what the Spanish football expert told the Chronicle when speaking about Newcastle’s soon-to-be new centre-back:
“I think he’s tailor-made for the Premier League – he will fit in absolutely perfectly,”
“He’s good in the air and he’s physically strong. I think he’s a very solid player and for me, it won’t take him any time at all to adapt to the Premier League. For the money he’s going to cost (£8.7m), it’s a good move that just makes sense.”
“He’s solid at every thing he does. He’s got decent pace – you’ll never see him beaten for that – without being lightening quick. He’s not Franz Beckenbauer but he’s comfortable enough on the ball and playing out from the back as well. I just think he does everything right and it doesn’t surprise me that teams from the Premier League are looking at him.”
Gibson clearly rates him as a player, but he then went on to praise Lejeune’s character, explaining why his success at La Liga minnows Eibar says everything you need to know about him as a person:
“Everywhere he’s been, he’s improved. He didn’t get much of a chance at Manchester City but he was excellent at Girona, another small club who were up against the odds. Then to be part of an Eibar side that exceeded expectations shows that he’s a certain type of person.”
“Last season after surviving in La Liga, Eibar went out and spent a bit of money and Lejeune was one of them – they spent a massive amount of money on him.”
“Eibar have to get by bringing in a certain type of player and Lejeune fits the bill. You have to be the right character – prepared to put everything in because you know you are battling against it playing for them. They are a triumph of good management and good players and Lejeune has been arguably one of their best.”
“To play for Eibar you knuckle down, work hard and you have to be prepared to fight in every single game. They are a club that punch above their weight and that means a certain type of player.”
This is high-praise indeed for Lejeune, with Gibson’s praise for him as a player and character giving me real confidence that he’ll be a hit on Tyneside and valuable addition to our defence.
Here’s some footage of the man himself in action, showing a compilation of his performance against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga last season:
Watched a full-match replay of Eibar vs Barcelona last season to get a gauge of incoming CB, Florian Lejeune. #NUFC
Here's him in action?? pic.twitter.com/m7AMjweWYe
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) June 20, 2017
Watched Lejeune closely in a replay of Eibar vs At. Madrid from last season.
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) June 21, 2017