Florian Lejeune’s talks Rafa, St. James’ & what fans can expect in first interview as a NUFC player

Newcastle announced the £8.7m arrival of centre-back Florian Lejeune this morning, and after signing of a five-year-deal on Tyneside, the Frenchman gave his first big interview to NUFC TV.

Lejeune spoke in French, but we have transcribed it all, bringing you his first in-depth interview as a Newcastle United player.

First things first, Lejeune was welcomed to the club and asked how it felt to have joined the Magpies:

“Thank you very much. I am really delighted to be here. This is a huge club and I am very happy to have signed here at Newcastle”

After weeks of negotiations, Lejeune was then asked how happy he was to have finally put pen to paper, with the Frenchman suggesting Rafa Benitez was a big factor in attracting him to the club:

“Very Happy. In all honesty, when a manager like Rafa Benitez wants you and insists you join him, you can be nothing but very proud and you want to join him. “It did take a long time to happen, but this is a matter between the two clubs.”

“The factor was that he is one of the very best managers in the world.

“And when one of the best managers tells you he wants you to be part of his team, you know he will really push you to be your very best and, in part, it’s thanks to him that I signed here.” 

“He was well aware of my abilities and spoke about what I would be able to achieve in England,”

“He said that the Premier League is the best in the world – it’s very physical and intense –and if I came to work with him I’d be able to achieve my personal goals.”

He was then asked how much he knew about the club, keeping in mind some of the famous French players who have been adored on Tyneside such as David Ginola and Laurent Robert:

“Newcastle is a great club and one of the most emblematic in the whole of England.

“Some huge players have been there. Not just French but also English, such as Alan Shearer.

“The stadium is amazing with a fantastic atmosphere.

“So when a club like Newcastle comes calling you can only be interested.”

After having a look around St. James’ Park following his medical yesterday, Lejeune then commented on first impressions of St. James’ Park:

“It is fantastic. It is enormous. Magnificent!”

The centre-back was then asked about his spell at Manchester City in 2015, where he failed to make a single appearance, and went on to explain how much he is now relishing his chance in England with Newcastle:

“It was a strange relationship with Manchester City, but that was in the past.”

“Now I am here at Newcastle and am hoping to have a great season and work really hard.”

The 6ft 3′ centre-back is not a household name to many of United fans and when asked to describe himself as a player to those who may not know him, he said:

“My abilities? I’m pretty good with my head, can play good long balls and can also play simple when needed; technically good; but the fans will be able to judge for themselves.”

He was then asked just how excited he was to play his first season in the Premier League:

“It is a dream! There are so many huge clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool”

“At Newcastle, every weekend there is a a big match involving the best players and it has always been my dream to play in this league. Now I am lucky enough to have this opportunity.”

With the season beginning in just over a month, Lejeune was then asked what he is aiming to achieve both individually and as a team at Newcastle this season:

“Firstly, to learn the language and settle into the squad.”

“I want to focus on getting a good pre-season behind me, which will be very important,”

“Afterwards, i’d love to play as many games as possible to help keep the club in the Premier League.”

And finally, his message for us the Newcastle United fans:

“I am delighted to have signed here at Newcastle,”

“I hope the fans will be proud – I will give everything I have out there on the pitch.”

An impressive interview from the Frenchman, who sounds just the sort of player and man Newcastle need ahead of our return to the top flight.

(CLICK HERE to watch his full interview on NUFC TV).

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green