Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune has promised fans that they will see him perform even better next season after his first campaign with the club was disrupted by injury.
The French centre back arrived on Tyneside from La Liga club Eibar in the summer transfer window, after an elongated pursuit by the Magpies to secure his signing.
He was thrown straight into the first team by manager Rafael Benitez but suffered a nightmare start to his playing career as he picked up a knee injury after a rash challenge from Tottenham striker Harry Kane, lasting just 34 minutes before being replaced.
He returned to the starting XI eight games later but once again found himself sidelined through another blow, sitting out nine matches before taking his place in the first team in the 1-0 win over Manchester United, making a vital block to deny Alexis Sanchez from scoring after rounding Martin Dubravka in the box.
After revealing the details behind his serious injuries, Lejeune has insisted there is more to come on his behalf, and says that regular training will bring the very best out of him.
He told the Chronicle: “I’ve been injured a couple of times. The first one was after the Tottenham game and then two months ago I was injured again in training.
“I found it quite complicated and difficult. It was a lengthy recovery and at one stage I couldn’t even get my shoes on properly.
“In terms of playing for Newcastle, the tackles are harsher in the Premier League.
“Next season I’ll be able to approach games in a better way. I’ll have had more training.
“I’m progressing all of the time and it is true that this year for me is a transition year. But in saying that, I am really confident I will improve week by week.”
In his debut season with the Magpies, Lejeune has made just 13 appearances, all coming in the Premier League, and will be hoping to retain his place among the starting XI for the trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.
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