Florian Lejeune reveals what Rafa Benitez told him before he joined Newcastle

Florian Lejeune
Florian Lejeune

Florian Lejeune has revealed what Rafa Benitez told him before he joined Newcastle United.

Lejeune today joined the club in an £8.8million deal.

The 26-year-old has signed a five-year deal at St James's Park.

READ MORE: Newcastle enquire about England international

And the chance to work with Rafa Benitez was a big factor in his decision to join the club.

"I'm delighted to be here," said the defender. "This is a huge club, and I'm very happy to have signed here at Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

"In all honesty, when a manager like Rafa Benitez wants you and insists you join him, you can be nothing but very proud and you want to join him.

"It did take a long time to happen, but this is a matter between the two clubs."

On Benitez, Lejeune added: "The factor was that he is one of the very best managers in the world.

"And when one of the best managers tells you he wants you to be part of his team, you know he will really push you to be your very best and, in part, it's thanks to him that I signed here."

Benitez has tracked Lejeune's career since his time at Villarreal.

And United's manager quickly persuaded him that a move to Newcastle would help him achieve his "personal goals".

"He was well aware of my abilities and spoke about what I would be able to achieve in England," Lejeune told NUFC TV.

"He said that the Premier League is the best in the world – it's very physical and intense –and if I came to work with him I'd be able to achieve my personal goals."