Florian Grégoire Claude Lejeune (French pronunciation: [flɔʁjɑ̃ ləʒən]; born 20 May 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League club Newcastle United. He is equally adept at playing as either a defender or a midfielder, but plays mostly as a centre-back.
Lejeune in 2011
|Full name||Florian Grégoire Claude Lejeune|
|Date of birth||20 May 1991|
|Place of birth||Paris, France|
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2013–2014||→ Brest (loan)||21||(0)|
|2015–2016||→ Girona (loan)||38||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:23, 6 April 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 July 2017
Lejeune was born in Paris and began his football career in July 1998 at the Centre de Formation de Paris, a youth sporting club designed to cater only to football players under the age of 19. After four months at the academy, he departed for Racing Club des Ternes, a local sporting club based in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Lejeune spent two years at the club and, in 2000, was signed by Racing Club de France. He spent the majority of his youth career at the club and, after a five-year stay, moved down south to join Béziers Méditerranée Cheminots, a sports club more known for its athletics department. With Béziers, Lejeune played in the Championnat de France 14 ans Fédéraux league.
After one year at Béziers, Lejeune joined the youth academy of Sète. After two years with the club, he signed an amateur contract with Adge, which was playing in the Championnat de France amateur, the fourth level of French football. Lejeune spent the majority of the 2008–09 season playing on the club's reserve team. Towards the end of the campaign, he was called up to the senior team and made his amateur debut on 11 April 2009 appearing as a substitute in a 3–1 defeat to Gazélec Ajaccio. On 23 May, he made his first start in a 3–2 victory over Gap. The following week, Lejeune scored both goals for Agde in a 2–2 draw with Fréjus Saint-Raphaël.
In the summer of 2009, Lejeune joined Ligue 2 club Istres on trial. After impressing in two friendly matches, he was signed to a three-year professional contract and inserted onto the club's reserve team. Lejeune arrived at the club playing primarily in the defensive midfielder role, but ultimately switched to the centre back position. His positive play during the fall season with the reserves led to the player being called up to the senior team in January 2010. Lejeune made his professional debut on 19 January in a league match against Guingamp in a 0–0 draw with the player playing the entire match. Lejuene finished the campaign with 14 more appearances in the league playing the entire match in all of them.
Lejeune began the 2010–11 season as a starter and made his season debut in a 4–0 defeat to Ajaccio in the Coupe de la Ligue. In September, he was a surprise inclusion in the France under-20 team. His subsequent uprising into the spotlight and positive play with Istres led to the player being declared one of the best players in Ligue 2, despite only playing in a handful of matches. On 4 January 2011, French newspaper L'Equipe announced that Spanish club Real Madrid was monitoring Lejeune's progress. He was, subsequently, linked to a host of other clubs, notably English clubs Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal and Italian clubs Napoli and Udinese with all the clubs reportedly likening him to former French international Laurent Blanc. However, despite the speculation, club president Francis Collado declared that he had not had official contact with any club linked to the player.
On 7 July 2011, French newspaper L'Equipe confirmed that Lejeune had reached an agreement with Spanish club Villarreal to sign a four-year contract. The transfer fee was priced at €1 million and Lejeune took his medical and signed his contract following the conclusion of his participation in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was placed onto the club's second team. After appearing in seven matches with the B team, Lejeune made his senior team debut on 6 November 2011 appearing as a substitute in a 0–0 draw with Espanyol. In January 2013, he was loaned to Ligue 1 side Stade Brestois 29. It was announced in July 2013 that Lejeune would be loaned out to the newly relegated club for another year.
After his loan with Brest ended, Lejeune signed a two-year deal with Girona FC also in the second level. He was an undisputed first-choice for the Catalans, scoring his first goal on 8 February 2015, in a 1–0 win at CD Tenerife.
- As of match played 13 May 2018
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Villarreal B||2011–12||Segunda División||27||2||—||—||—||27||2|
|2012–13||Segunda División B||9||0||—||—||—||9||0|
|Newcastle United||2017–18||Premier League||24||0||0||0||0||0||—||24||0|
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2017 and 31/07/2017" (PDF). The Football Association. p. 20. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- "Florian Lejeune: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- "Lejeune (Istres) à Villarreal" (in French). L'Equipe. 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- Florian Lejeune, jugador de SD Eibar para las cuatro proximal temporadas, sdeibar.com, 29 June 2016
- "Football Agde Effectif 2008/2009" (in French). Stat2Foot. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "Florian Lejeune: Vraiment de la qualité" (in French). FC Istres. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Nouveau cap pour Florian Lejeune" (in French). French Football Federation. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Histoire du CFFP" (in French). Centre de Formation de Paris. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Lejeune, prénom Florian" (in French). Sport24. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Agde v. Gazélec Ajaccio Match Report". Foot-National (in French). 11 April 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Agde v. Gap Ajaccio Match Report". Foot-National (in French). 23 May 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Fréjus Saint-Raphaël v. Agde Match Report". Foot-National (in French). 23 May 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Guingamp v. Tours Match Report" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Ajaccio v. Tours Match Report" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Florian Lejeune en équipe de France U20" (in French). La Provence. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Le Real a un oeil sur Lejeune" (in French). L'Equipe. 4 January 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Man Utd, Man City watching FC Istres defender Florian Lejeune". Tribal Football. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Calciomercato Napoli e Udinese, interessa il "nuovo Blanc"" (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Arsenal join Real in race for defensive starlet Lejeune". Sport.co.uk. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Lejeune (Istres) à Villarreal" (in French). Boursorama. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "Forlin red costs Espanyol". ESPN. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- "Lejeune reste à Brest" (in French). L'Équipe.fr. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "El Girona ficha a Lejeune" [Girona signs Lejeune] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "El Girona FC traspasa a Lejeune al Manchester City y este lo cede al Club de Montilivi" [Girona FC transfers Lejeune to Manchester City and the latter loans him to the club of Montilivi] (in Spanish). Girona's official website. 28 August 2015. Archived from the original on 1 September 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- "Florian Lejeune, jugador de SD Eibar para las cuatro próximas temporadas" [Florian Lejeune, SD Eibar player for the following four seasons] (in Spanish). SD Eibar. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- "Florian Lejeune: Newcastle defender to miss rest of season with knee injury". BBC Sport. 8 April 2019.
- Florian Lejeune at Soccerway. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
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