Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune has said it has been “complicated” since signing for the Magpies over the summer and that his sole aim for the future is securing the club’s Premier League safety.

The French defender arrived from Spanish side Eibar following Newcastle’s return to the top flight, but endured a difficult start to his career on Tyneside.

After starting in the season opener against Tottenham, he lasted just 34 minutes before limping off after a heavy challenge from England striker Harry Kane, missing six games, three of those spent on the substitutes’ bench, before returning to the first team set up.

Since then he has gone on to make 11 further appearances, before missing the 3-2 win over West Ham and the narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester City through another injury layoff.

Speaking of his first six months in the north east, he insisted that he is still learning the demands of the Premier League, noting the physicality of England’s top flight, and revealed he was simply aiming to establish himself at Newcastle while helping them in their relegation fight.

He told France Football: “In England, games are often quite intense so if you are not ready physically, it is complicated. I am ready but I am still adapting.

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“I know I need to work more on the physical and tactical side of my game.

“I felt like I belonged very quickly, seeing as I had gotten back into the habit of playing.

“(My aim is) for us to assure Premier League safety as fast as possible and for me to impose myself. Simple.”

The 26-year-old has 12 Newcastle appearances under his belt so far, having battled with Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark for a place at the heart of the defence, but will be missing for the clash against Brighton after Rafael Benitez gave a first team injury update.

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