By Abigail Withey
Newcastle United has confirmed the signing of defender Florian Lejeune from La Liga club Eibar.
The French centre-back is the latest addition to Rafa Benitez’ summer recruitment drive in a five-year-deal worth £8.5 million, and looks to remain at the club until the summer of 2022.
On Twitter, the club posted a picture of Lejeune and said the newly promoted club were “delighted” to welcome the defender.
Newcastle United are delighted to confirm the arrival of @lejeune_florian!
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 4, 2017
The 26-year-old impressed during his debut campaign with the Spanish club, and made a total of 37 appearances across all competitions.
Lejeune originally moved to Eibar from Premier League giants Manchester City in 2016 after the centre-back failed to make the team and was loaned out throughout his time at the Etihad.
The defender was quoted on the club’s official website saying that Benitez was a big part of his move to the Magpies.
“When you have a manager like Rafa Benitez who wants you, you are very happy to come. Since I’ve been in touch with the manager, it was an easy decision for me to come here,” he said.
The Frenchman is Benitez’ second signing of the transfer window, after the former Liverpool boss managed to secure winger Christian Atsu on a permanent basis back in May.
Football Insider verdict
Benitez will be delighted to have secured a second signing, after the Toon boss appeared to be struggling in the summer transfer window. Lejeune will bring a breadth of knowledge and experience from playing in La Liga against the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, which will no doubt be transferred across to the Premier League. The Frenchman will be a great addition to the squad and help the club as they enter the top flight once again, but the signing certainly wasn’t predicted. The signing should give the Toon boss the kick he needs to start heavily investing in some new talent ready for the club’s 2017/18 campaign.
In other Newcastle transfer news, the Tynesiders have been offered the services of this free agent who has been released by Arsenal.