Tony Higgins, our Spanish based true faith correspondent who actually watches games in La Liga and knows what’s going on at all levels of the game over there, lets on about our new central defender, Florian Lejeun.
I have to be honest and say that I am happy that Florian Lejeun has signed for Newcastle United for two reasons. Obviously the big Frenchman seems to be a decent centre half and I can confirm that it is true what Rafa has said, that “He is good with both feet, he’s big and he’s good in the air also”.
However, I am also happy, at whatever the transfer fee ends up being, that the money is going to little SD Eibar. Anyone who has read my book Homage to Murcia click here will know that SD Eibar played a cameo role towards the end of the book. SD Eibar are a fantastic club, from the Basque Country, and have had an amazing journey to La Liga. The more amazing thing is that they are managing to stay there and at one point it looked as though they might qualify for Europe last season. If you’re looking for a top level club that does things the right way, then look no further than SD Eibar.
Anyway, back to Lejeun, he has played on and off for approximately six years in Spain. He started at Villareal B before moving up to the senior team, where he made just six appearances. From there after a short time back on loan in France, at Brest, he moved back to Spain, to Girona of Catalonia. At Girona he was loaned out to Man City where he never played a game and then back to Girona on loan. From City he was transferred to SD Eibar where he made 34 appearances and scored one goal.
My only concern is that most of Lejeun experience has come in the second tier of Spanish football, that said he did perform well at the heart of the Eibar defence last season that saw them finish a creditable 10th in La Liga.
So there you have it, not only will I be watching with interest how Lejeun gets on in England, I’ll be watching how SD Eibar invest the money they have received for him. I have two shares in the club, which I bought for €50 each, when the club turned to normal football fans to help them secure their place in La Liga a few years ago. Basque clubs are huge on investing money in grass roots football and they all love to bring local kids through the ranks. Maybe the money will be invested in that or maybe they will go out and reinforce. Whatever they do you can rest assured it will be done the right way.
Tony Higgins – Follow Tony on @Higgins1892
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