Rayo Vallecano defender Florian Lejeune has admitted that playing in the Premier League with Newcastle was his ‘dream’.
The defender joined Newcastle from SD Eibar in a €10 million deal in 2017 on a five-year contract, with then-manager Rafa Benitez looking to strengthen his defence. However, injuries hampered his time at St James Park, where he spent four years making only 46 appearances and never became a regular.
His worst injury was a cruciate ligament rupture in 2018, which caused him to miss 21 games that season, followed by a knee injury the following year that caused him to miss 18 games and spend 212 days on the treatment table.
In a bid to reignite his career, Lejeune joined Deportivo Alavés on a one-year loan in September 2020, and he joined the club permanently in July of the following year for an undisclosed fee. And the Frenchman claims he has no hard feelings or regrets over his move to England, in fact, looks back at it very fondly.
“It was a dream to play in England and when Benítez called me for Newcastle I didn’t hesitate.”
“At the beginning, it was all good, but in pre-season I injured my cruciate muscle. I had the operation in Rome and came back quite quickly.
“Then I played 13 or 14 games in a row, and I broke the one in the other leg. It was a tough blow.”
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