Arriving in summer 2014, it was hoped that Siem de Jong could fill Yohan Cabaye’s boots.
The Frenchman jumping ship in the January and whilst a different type of midfielder to Cabaye, it was felt more than possible that the Ajax player could provide the goals and assists that were needed.
Sadly, Siem de Jong has become a bit of a joke figure, almost entirely due to a succession of injuries that left fans taking for granted that he wouldn’t be playing and even if he did, that it wouldn’t be for long.
On the pitch as well, granted in a very limited number of matches, the midfielder hasn’t really shown much, give or take the odd moment that suggests quality.
Friday night was another example, a brilliant turn and pass to put in Dwight Gayle for the third minute opening goal but nothing much after that.
One thing is for certain and that is the number 10 position is definitely up for grabs at Newcastle, neither Perez or Diame impressed last season as Rafa Benitez alternated due to nobody putting a claim on it.
Has Siem de Jong got the quality and mobility to succeed in the Premier League?
Fans are probably more convinced of the quality, as he looks an intelligent player, but can he deal with the physical aspect and get involved enough. That is partly Perez’ downfall for me, you can see he is a clever player – at least up to a point, but with no pace and not the strongest, he finds it hard to assert himself.
De Jong got half-decent game time on loan at PSV last season and scored six goals and got one assist, something that he hopes he can build on.
The midfielder’s agent told the Dutch media at the weekend that the player still is desperate to succeed at Newcastle but that they accept it may not work out and so are working on alternatives, just in case.
Siem de Jong more or less repeats that, saying he hopes to impress Rafa Benitez in pre-season and then speak to the manager about his future.
He says ‘I’d like to see how I can do in the Premier League..’.
Maybe this training camp in Ireland this week could prove make or break as time is running out for Rafa Benitez to make new signings in time for the new season.
Can Siem de Jong convince Rafa that he can save him serious money?
Siem de Jong speaking to the Chronicle:
“It hasn’t been what I was expecting here (at Newcastle)…I have been out on loan after two tough years.
“Last season at PSV I had a better season than the two before so hopefully I can build on that – I need to prove myself in pre-season then I will see what happens.
“The first two years I had two freak injuries and in the second year I didn’t play as much as I hoped, you want to play games and you need to do that to get fit.
“It was good for me to get out on loan last season.”
“It was a good feeling to pull on the black and white shirt again (at Hearts), glad to be back out on the pitch again, I hope I can continue playing games.
“I still hope I can get my chance here and I will see what happens in the next few games in pre-season, I will speak to the manager too and see what happens.
“I hope to bring goals and assists to the team, I scored a few last season and the assists were also good.
“I need to continue that, I need to create more passes and chances in the games.”
“I’d like to see how I can do in the Premier League, I will see what I can do next season – stay fit and play games.”