Newcastle United’s Florian Lejeune played 45 minutes last night.

Newcastle United’s Under-23 head coach Neil Redfearn has told The Chronicle that he thought defender Florian Lejeune showed ‘real class’ in his comeback appearance last night.

The Magpies first team were in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, but on Monday, it was the turn of the Under-23’s as they took on Middlesbrough.

The game finished in a 2-2 draw, with Newcastle roaring back from 2-0 down at half time to claim a draw, as Jack Young and Oisin McEntee scored second half goals.

However, the focus of the night was defender Lejeune, who was making his first appearance since suffering a major knee injury against Crystal Palace in April.

The French centre back, 28, has been attempting to ramp up his comeback in recent weeks, and he managed to play 45 minutes against Boro before being taken off for McEntee, as was always the plan.

Lejeune is still some way off first-team football, but he will give Steve Bruce another defensive option to challenge the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark.

Now, Under-23 boss Redfearn has admitted that Lejeune showed ‘real class’ last night, praising him for some excellent touches and for managing to play 45 minutes after so long on the sidelines.

“He showed some real class at times and was very good,” said Redfearn. “He is an outstanding player and some of his touches were excellent. He stepped in and out of defence and played passes through were great.”

“None of the goals were down to him. He did really well to play that length of time considering he’s been out for so long,” he added.

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