Isaac Hayden has led the responses from Newcastle United players saying goodbye to Florian Lejeune on Instagram after the defender joined Alaves on a permanent transfer.

The La Liga outfit confirmed Lejeune’s arrival on Thursday, with the Frenchman moving for an undisclosed fee. He had spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Alaves, and now returns to the Mendizorrotza Stadium to sign a three-year contract.

Lejeune was a mainstay of the Alaves backline throughout last season and arrives to again reinforce Javier Calleja’s defence. The 30-year-old made a total of 36 appearances in all competitions, while only missing one league fixture following Calleja’s appointment in April.

Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Lejeune had entered the final year of his £38,000-per-week contract at Newcastle before joining Alaves on a permanent deal. The Toon paid Eibar £8.7m for his signature in 2017, but only made 46 appearances between serious injuries.

Reports by AS before Lejeune’s transfer claimed Alaves would only pay Newcastle a minimal fee for the centre-back. His exit leaves captain Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Paul Dummett as Steve Bruce’s centre-half options.

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Lejeune posts Newcastle farewell on Instagram after joining Alaves

Lejeune has taken to Instagram to bid farewell to Newcastle after completing a permanent move to Alaves. The defender also thanks the Magpies, the club’s supporters and players, as he looks forward to a new challenge.

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Newcastle players react on Instagram as Lejeune joins Alaves

A few Newcastle players, including Lascelles and Hayden, have also responded to Lejeune’s post as the defender joins Alaves. So, here a selection of the comments posted…

“All the best bro” – Jamaal Lascelles

“What a player. Will be missed my friend, all the best in the future” – Isaac Hayden

“All the best Flo” – Jacob Murphy

“Brother” – Fabian Schar

In other news, Kristian Thorstvedt has just hinted to Paratici he wants to join Tottenham