Newcastle United handed a one-year contract to Florent Indalecio after the midfielder impressed the Tyneisde club during a trial in the summer.
The 23-year-old has had an unorthodox career so far. Having started with Saint-Étienne’s academy, the French club released him at the age of 15 and a year later, he found a tumour in his knee, for which he had to go under the knife.
Indalecio’s search for a new club took him to the United States, which proved unsuccessful, before moving to Australia in 2019. He represented fourth tier Australian side Fraser Park FC, while also working in construction.
The Magpies have offered the Frenchman a second chance and he has already featured twice for Newcastle’s U23 side.
Foot Mercato had an opportunity to interview Indalecio and he explained his friend, Allan Saint-Maximin, played a role in his signing for the Premier League club.
“My childhood friend, Allan Saint-Maximin, told me to come to England, that he would try to help me. He talked about me at Newcastle in a good way and they agreed to take me on trial,” he said.
“Allan believes in me. It was the case before the trial. He knows it’s up to me. What he did for me, everyone would not have done, it’s a risk for him too, it’s rare in the world of football.”
Having experienced life outside football, Indalecio is aware how grateful he should be to receive this opportunity. The player also discussed how he managed to convince Newcastle to offer him a contract.
“I have a lot of regrets about Saint-Étienne, I didn’t have the maturity at the time. Now I have lived, I have seen how hard life is. When you know what real life is, the day you’re given a second chance, you’re not going to miss it, that’s for sure,” Indalecio explained.
“I did four weeks of trial. And one day, while training, I scored a scissor kick from a direct corner, which made a lot of buzz.
“It is a rather rare technical gesture, not within the reach of just anyone, which also helped me. I showed beautiful things, beautiful attitudes. I did it right, the work paid off. I did what I had to do and landed a pro contract. I signed for a year at Newcastle.”
Saint-Maximin’s childhood friend is clear he doesn’t want to throw away the second chance he has been offered at Newcastle.
“Nothing is impossible! You have to work hard, do good things and show off when you play. I’m going to have to prove it, make big performances, give everything to show the coach that I don’t have time to get to the top level. I want to get there,” he added.
“We’ll see at the end of the season. I am focused on the upcoming matches. I will have to work twice as hard as the others to have a chance.
“I can’t afford to let go; I know I’m going to show some great things. Whatever happens, this season, people will see me, observers will watch my matches. I know what I’m capable of. I’m not worried.”