Florian Lejeune has now signed for a new club in Spain.
Leaving Newcastle United on loan for Alaves in summer 2020, the defender was a hit when returning to La Liga.
Florian Lejeune one of the club’s best players, helping the minnows avoid relegation with a relatively comfortable 16th placed finish in 2020/21
That loan season helped secure a permanent move to Alaves for an ‘undisclosed’ fee in July 2021.
Florian Lejeune was popular with Newcastle fans and helped NUFC have the seventh best defensive record in both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.
Steve Bruce clearly not a fan of ball playing central defenders, with the Head Coach reluctant to play Fabian Schar as well.
In the 2020/21 season, Bruce managed to turn the NUFC defensive record from seventh best under Rafa to fifth worst, only two clubs outside the bottom two conceded more goals than Newcastle. Then in 2021/2022, things were looking even worse in defence at NUFC under Steve Bruce, before he was belatedly sacked and then Eddie Howe came in to start and repair the shambles left behind.
As for Florian Lejeune, he started 30 league matches in the 2021/22 season and was part of a defence that conceded 63 goals, the second worst total in La Liga last season, as the team finished rock bottom.
However, despite the relegation, the former Newcastle defender’s reputation not tarnished too badly, as Rayo Vallecano (finished 12th in La Liga last season) have signed Florian Lejeune on loan for the season with an option to buy.
Florian Lejeune using his social media to thank Alaves and their fans:
‘Thank you very much Alaves for these 2 years.
A page turns today, but every past moment will remain forever in my memory.
I want to thank my teammates, staff members, club officials and fans for their support.
All the best for the upcoming season.
Joselu had already moved on from Alaves, his contract having ended after this relegation season, the one-time NUFC striker signed by La Liga club Espanyol. The 32 year old having scored 14 league goals last season despite the relegation.
Joselu ended his time at Alaves with 36 goals from 100 La Liga starts, that followed six goals in 24 Premier League starts for Newcastle United.