Signed by SD Eibar for €1.5m in 2016 after some time at Girona, Florian Lejeune would only spend a year there before Newcastle United came knocking thanks to Rafa Benitez.

The Magpies spent €10m on his transfer, and kept it for three years before sending him out on loan to Alaves, who bought him the following season.

He is no longer there, having been signed by Rayo Vallecano last summer, and Le Figaro sat down with the 32-year-old to discuss his career, including his time at Newcastle.

They start off the section by saying how his time at St James’ Park went ‘from a dream to a nightmare’, with it all beginning with ‘phone calls’ from Benitez convincing him to make the move to the north of England.

As Le Figaro point out, the first season went well, but the second was borderline awful for the player, as he first tore in anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee, returned, and then suffered the same injury three months later in his left knee.

He said: “Two cruciate in eight months. It was a complicated period. I tried to put things into perspective, to tell myself that I still have many years ahead of me.

These issues derailed his time at St James’ Park, and the centre-back believes that had he not suffered them, he’d ‘still be at Newcastle’ to this day.

Lejeune added: “I would have like to settle down a bit more, but you have to know how to adapt. We’re young, we can move, we adapt. It’s just that you have to be ready mentally. You shouldn’t be afraid to take risks. If you just wait and endure, it’s a bit completed to develop your career.”

In the end, the player felt it was best to leave Newcastle, agreeing to take less move in order to ‘feel happier’ elsewhere.