Newcastle United are going to face Rayo Vallecano in a friendly in December, which means a return to Tyneside for Florian Lejeune.
Domestic football is set to go on hold for the World Cup in Qatar, meaning clubs will need to undergo a mini pre-season before its return in December.
The Magpies have already announced that they will be going to Saudi Arabia for a warm weather training camp next month. During their trip they will play a friendly against Al-Hilal.
Now Newcastle have announced a second fixture, welcoming Rayo Vallecano to St James’ Park on December 17th.
That is a day before the World Cup final, and will see a familiar face return to the North East.
Lejeune to return to Newcastle next month
It will be wonderful to see Lejeune grace the St James’ Park pitch once again. The Frenchman joined Vallecano during the summer, agreeing a season-long loan deal from Alaves.
Lejeune has been back in Spain since 2020. He was loaned to Alaves that summer, then a permanent exit was sanctioned one year later by then manager Steve Bruce.
Brucey failed to get the best out of Lejeune, who had an injury disrupted spell on Tyneside. He was signed by Rafa Benitez, costing £8.7million from Eibar. After a slow start, he really settled into life at Newcastle and looked like a great addition.
But two serious knee injuries will always define Lejeune’s time in the Premier League. Across three seasons, he managed a total of 46 appearances in all competitions.
He managed two goals during that period, and they interestingly came in the same game. And it is a game that Toon fans will never forget.
Newcastle were playing horrendously against Everton, and found themselves 2-0 down in stoppage time. There was no way Carlo Ancelotti’s side wouldn’t win.
Then Lejeune happened. The centre-back scored twice, finding the net in the 94th and 95th minute to rescue the most unlikely point.
Those goals past Jordan Pickford will be remembered for a long time by Toon fans, and it will be great to see Lejeune back in Newcastle next month. Hopefully he gets the reception he deserves from the St James’ Park crowd.