Siem de Jong is now considering his options.

The Dutch midfielder has not made a start under Rafa Benitez and has had to settle for four substitute appearances from the bench since the former Real Madrid boss took over.

Amusingly/interestingly, in Siem de Jong’s two years at the club, Newcastle are unbeaten in the league matches he has started, the only problem being that there has just been four of them…

The former Ajax Captain started in the 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace in August 2014, then featured in Newcastle’s best mini spell under Steve McClaren (against little other competition!), when beating both Liverpool and Spurs in December, before also starting the home draw against Aston Villa.

Seen as a bit of a bargain at around £5m when he arrived at Newcastle, having scored a bucketful of goals in Holland and done well in the Champions League, it looks to be fitness rather than talent that has snookered him.

One of the few Newcastle players who appears to be universally well liked, it just looks like Newcastle brought in a ‘bargain’ player whose later injury record at Ajax should have had the alarm bells ringing.

Five different injuries in his last season in Holland saw Siem de Jong have spells out with a thigh injury, hamstring problems, with a collapsed lung maybe the most serious.

As well as a freak eye injury at Newcastle, he has also had thigh problems, hamstring issues and another collapsed lung…

Never truly looking like he could cope with the pace of the Premier League when getting onto the pitch, it looks as though now the Dutch international is ready to accept the inevitable.

De Jong says he wants to play regularly again but accepts he may have to leave Newcastle to do so, even despite the drop into the Championship.

Whether he has been given that hint already by the club/Rafa Benitez is open to question but whilst Siem de Jong talks of a potential permanent transfer or loan, surely any club is only going to consider the second option taking into account the player’s injury problems over the last three years and lack of games.

A bit of a sad situation: a player who looks to have the right character and ability, plus speaks like a natural Captain, but while the mid is willing the body is not.

Siem de Jong speaking to Fox Sports:

“If the club says I may be sold or loaned out, I will look at all the possibilities.

“I would rather not return to Holland just yet, although Ajax is always an option.

“I want to play again and get into a rhythm.

“It will not be easy for me but I hope for a good solution.”