An inspired Newcastle United carried on their impressive run of form as they beat Burnley 2-0 at St. James’ Park on Tuesday night.
Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden put on a brilliant display as two first-half strikes from Schar and Longstaff proved to be enough for the home side to seal a comfortable victory.
Lots of praise for Almiron, Rondon, Schar and Longstaff which is completely justified but can’t praise Isaac Hayden, Matt Ritchie high enough! Also Lejeune for how he has comeback from that injury #NUFC
— Paul Dunn (@MrDunnPE) February 26, 2019
It was the fourth victory for the Magpies in the last six matches including the stunning victory over defending champions Manchester City.
During this stretch, the North East side have also accumulated the highest number of points among all the Premier League clubs, as pointed out by a Reddit user.
They were struggling in the relegation zone just a few matches ago and this sudden yet amazing turn of form has form has left their fanbase in ecstasy.
And many of them singled out Frenchman Florian Lejeune as the key man behind this amazing turnaround.
Florian Lejeune is the reason why we defend well. Why Dubravka knows what to do with the ball. Why Lacelles looks so good. Why Schar can get forward. For me, he is our most important player… An amazing performance yet again. #NUFC
— Irish Mag (@theirishmag) February 26, 2019
The 27-year old suffered an injury during the pre-season which sidelined him for the first half of the season but he was quickly incorporated in the first team following his return in early January.
His inclusion in Rafa Benitez’s three-man defence has added a lot of calmness at the back and in the last six league games, they have conceded only thrice which prompted some of the fans to go as far as claiming it to be their best defence in the recent past.
I’m 35 and we now have the best defence I can remember. Including the Keegan years. Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark and Lejeune all very comfortable choices at centre half. Mint.
— WhatsthestoryYoshinori (@MagicMuto) February 26, 2019
His presence has also helped his fellow center-backs Jamal Lascelles and Fabian Schar who seemed to be struggling in the first half of the season, as a dedicated supporter pointed out.
That trio at centre-back have been brilliant. Florian Lejeune just offers a calmness at the back which has helped Jamaal Lascelles settle, while Fabian Scahr just looks such a bargain. Great to see two great passers in Lejeune and Schar at the back. #NUFC
— Andrew Musgrove (@ADMusgrove) February 26, 2019
The Frenchman is also very comfortable with the ball in his feet and from time to time his excellent technique has helped Newcastle to play the ball out very quickly from the back.
And once again the fans were prompt to recognize it.
Seriously love the abilities of Schar and Lejeune on the ball. They’re both fantastic
— Evin (@EvG_Football) February 26, 2019
In fact, his recent performances were so good that some of the fans have even drawn a comparison with Liverpool’s towering Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.
Imagine being one of those silly people who think Virgil van Dijk is a better defender than Florian Lejeune.
— 𝕋𝕙𝕖𝕄𝕒𝕔𝕜𝕖𝕞𝕊𝕝𝕒𝕪𝕖𝕣 (@TheMackemSlayer) February 26, 2019
The Frenchman is certainly proving himself to be one of the most promising defenders in the Premier League at this moment and while drawing a comparison with someone like Van Dijk may sound a bit over the top, it can be said with certainty that his recent performances were almost good enough to earn him a place in any of the top six clubs, as a Twitter user pointed out.
Lejeune is a top 6 player. Absolute different class #RollsRoyce
— Steve Burn (@SteveBurn91) February 26, 2019