Everything is pointing towards Daryl Janmaat staying at Newcastle United.
The Dutch international was arguably Newcastle’s best player in his first season in England, United’s best defender (against little opposition…) and nobody got more goal assists than Janmaat that season.
However, his form faded badly last season, though he wasn’t exactly alone in that.
Things reached a definite low when back in March, Netherlands Head Coach Danny Blind said Daryl Janmaat was gutted because he’d had to pull out of international duty as he’d hoped to put himself in the ‘shop window’ in the event of Newcastle being relegated.
No real speculation in the press though as to any departure for Janmaat and with only 12 days to go until the Championship kicks off, only Matz Sels and the centre-backs Lascelles and Mbemba have played more minutes in the pre-season friendlies.
Rafa Benitez even utilised Janmaat in an advanced position at Lokeren on Saturday, before he reverted back to his usual right-back role.
The player says that he doesn’t mind where he plays and he capped his performance in Belgium with an excellent headed goal from a free-kick (watch it here).
Many Newcastle fans had expressed their frustration at Daryl Janmaat’s disappointing displays after Christmas and the perception that he wanted to leave – but under Rafa Benitez it appears pretty much everybody’s slate has been wiped clean and all that matters is what happens moving forward, putting last season well and truly in the past.
Daryl Janmaat speaking to the official club website:
“I do it in my own way, I’m not a proper winger but I ‘m a good runner and I tried to make the best of it that I can.
“I like playing right-back, that’s my place, because I can come from behind to help out the attack.
“But it’s nice to be able to help out in different positions, to show what I can do there, and I was happy to help the team out with a goal.
“It was a good game and a good result against a team who play in the Belgian first division, so we’ve got to be satisfied with the way it went.
“In pre-season you want a good workout and this was another one – we are playing lots of games to try and get back in a rhythm, get fit and be ready for Fulham in a couple of weeks.
“This was our third game and we are doing okay so far. There are things we can still improve on but we are also doing lots of things well.
“We are controlling games, we look dangerous in the forward positions and we are scoring goals. It is very important that we are taking our opportunities.”