Florian Lejeune returned to action last night for Newcastle’s Under-23s. The French defender played 45 minutes as he continues his comeback from injury.
After a strong debut season, it looked like Lejeune would spend his second season on the sidelines. He suffered a knee ligament injury in pre-season that threatened to end his season early.
However, the centre-back’s recovery has been nothing short of sensational, as looks to regain some match fitness ahead of a first-team return.
The reserves fixture against Norwich, which the Magpies won 2-1, was the latest step in the 27-year-old’s recovery.
Lejeune not the only player to benefit from reserve fixture
However, the 45 minutes he played had an influence on another player. Captaining the side to victory, Kelland Watts spoke about playing alongside Lejeune.
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“It was great to have him alongside me,” Watts told the Chronicle.
“He is a pro and up there with the first team. It was good to see what the level is like and base my performance on him.
“I’ll think about the things he done well and add them to my game as well.”
While playing for the reserves will help Lejeune during his comeback, he is also having an impact on those around him.
Newcastle’s youngsters have being doing brilliantly this season, but first-team football is totally different. Having a player like Lejeune in their side will only aid their development.
Watts will certainly benefit from playing alongside Lejeune, a player who proved he can handle himself against the best the Premier League has to offer.
If Watts is to become a future Premier League defender for Newcastle, then those minutes alongside the Frenchman will be invaluable.