Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune looks set to miss the vast majority of his side's upcoming 2018/19 campaign, after suffering a cruciate ligament during a pre-season training session.
Taking to social media to break the news to the Magpies faithful, Lejeune explained the nature of his injury, writing: "During my last training session, I left the field due to an injury. After further medical examination, the doctor told me I have a cruciate ligament injury. I'll have surgery in the next few days. I'll do everything I can to get back as quickly as possible on St James' Park."
During my last training session, I left the field due to an injury. After further medical examination, the doctor told me I have a cruciate ligament injury. I'll have surgery in the next few days. I'll do everything I can to get back as quickly as possible on St James' Park⚫⚪ pic.twitter.com/LtuO670sNZ— Florian Lejeune (@lejeune_florian) July 29, 2018
Newcastle boss Rafael Benítez now has a real dilemma on his hands, having lost one of his key central defenders. The pressure will now be on the club owner Mike Ashley to provide the coach with a suitable budget to fund the signing of a replacement, which could be an expensive task given the widely inflated nature of the transfer market at present.
Lejeune joined the Magpies last season, after impressive Benítez during his previous campaign with Eibar.
The Frenchman was previously on the books at Manchester City, but failed to make a single appearance for the club and was immediately loaned out to Girona. Toon fans will be hopeful that the injury is less serious than first feared, given his importance to this side.
Meanwhile, reports have claimed that Newcastle have accepted an offer from Fulham for their striker Aleksandar Mitrović.
The Serbian international proved a highly popular figure during his loan move to Craven Cottage last season, and could be set to end his disappointing spell at St James' Park with a permanent move to west London.