The situation with Siem de Jong has largely gone unreported by the media.

The Dutch international was the player expected to fill the void left by Yohan Cabaye but instead he has spent his time injured or sitting on the bench over these past 16 months.

Despite only one win in 11 Premier League matches, there has been no real questions asked as to why the former Ajax captain isn’t more involved.

If you look at the basic facts, to have a player with Siem de Jong’s pedigree neither playing nor officially injured, is very strange.

The midfielder has sat on the bench for all but one of those 11 matches and spent 105 minutes on the pitch in half a dozen pretty anonymous substitute appearances.

Whilst the media have avoided asking many questions, many fans have wondered if Siem de Jong is just basically knackered after so many illnesses and injuries over the course of the last couple of years, left unable to reach the fitness needed to play in the Premier League.

However, the player himself has revealed that he is desperate to play for Newcastle reserves (Under 21s) tonight at St James Park, saying ‘I want to keep my fitness up’ but surely the big reason is to somehow show Steve McClaren and his coaching staff that he is able to play, even if it is at this lower level.

Hoepfully the likes of Rolando Aarons and Keven Mbabu will also play tonight, with both reportedly back training and available to play.

Newcastle take on Aston Villa tonight and it is £3 to get in (£1 concessions) and free to season ticket holders – kick-off is 7pm.

Siem de Jong talking to the Chronicle:

 “I got a few minutes against Stoke and hopefully I can continue with this.

“I hope to play on Monday, I want to get some rhythm because I haven’t played for a while.

“I want to keep my fitness up and so I want to play.

“We will see what happens but I’m ready to play in the Under-21s.”