There can be fewer things more annoying for a football manager than making a marquee summer signing and then seeing him get injured just a matter of days later.

And then, to compound the misery, your club is embroiled in a pant-shredding relegation battle in which you are crying out for some extra quality in the final third of the pitch as you fight amongst the previously nailed on certainties.

In the case of Newcastle United’s new boy Siem De Jong, this wasn’t just any old injury, however: this was a torn thigh muscle that would see him sidelined until February. And on his return….well, the Dutchman suffered a collapsed lung that would rule him out for a further eight weeks and counting.

The manager that signed him, Alan Pardew, may have departed St James’ Park a long time ago, but his replacement John Carver would love to be able to call on the services of an attacker with both international and Champions League pedigree.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for De Jong; he made his long-awaited return to the fold in a recent defeat to Swansea, entering the field of play as a 74th minute substitute and firing a late consolation goal in that 2-3 loss. The player believes he needs to build his strength up a little more, so won’t be available for Saturday’s game at QPR, but hopes to be ok for West Ham at home on the final day of the season.

But is the Dutchman’s return a case of too little, too late for the Magpies? And what division will he be plying his trade in next season?

The De Jong Story

After breaking into the Ajax first team as a precocious teenager, De Jong would go on to represent his boyhood heroes more than 200 times, notching 63 goals along the way.

His highlights reel includes replacing Jan Vertonghen as club captain, helping his side to four successive Eredivisie titles, and scoring home and away against Manchester City in the Champions League. A call-up to the Holland squad followed shortly after.

Those performances naturally attracted the attention of many of Europe’s big names, so it was a bit of a coup for the Magpies when then boss Pardew managed to persuade De Jong to join his beleaguered side in England.

The silver fox had to shell out in excess of £6 million though – as well as a six-year contract – to secure his new signing, and he instantly rewarded the Dutch dangerman by installing him as one of the club’s vice captain.

A matter of weeks later and, well, you know the rest.

Clueless Campaign

There has been little for Newcastle United fans to cheer about this season, and in truth it is mostly their side’s calamitous defensive frailties that have caused them to freefall head-first into a relegation dogfight (they have the second largest ‘goals against’ column in the league).

That, and Mike Ashley’s insistence on placing a coach rather than a manager in temporary charge – even if he is the (self-appointed) best coach in the league.

Even so, the Magpies have only scored 37 goals in 36 league games – and half of those have been knocked in by two players: Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez.

So it’s understandable for Newcastle fans to be thinking ‘what if’. What if De Jong had stayed fit? Would they still be in their current predicament, with such an attacking force around to create goals and finish them himself?

There are creative talents at St James’ Park already; Perez has looked lively in fits and starts, and Cisse is as natural a goalscorer as you will find. But they need a conductor, an orchestrator, somebody to act as the middle man: and De Jong is as natural a link-up man between midfield and attack as you will see.

The Geordie faithful will be hoping that they can get a full season out of him next term – and in the Premier League too, of course.

  • Steve Cross

    So frustrating having a player of this alleged caliber. Typical of modern footballers though, quite simply, made of glass. Compare against Brock, Peacock, Clark, Lee, Beardsley, all similar players who were present every week. We must stop up and he MUST be fit for a FULL season next year, if any doubt rip up the contract and get someone else in.

  • Dubaiexpat

    Pardew had zero to do with his signing but that’s largely irrelevant. We managed to sign him because he was a huge risk from a medical standpoint having a long track record of injury which included the previous lung incident. 

    The word risk seems to play a large part in our transfer strategy and clearly it has paid off in certain cases but I’d argue they are the exception rather than the rule. 

    If we stay up and if SDJ can stay out of the sick bay then he can be a huge player for us but I wouldn’t be willing to bet on either.

  • truemagpie

    And then he gets Injured again

  • Stevie Aces Renforth

    Next season

  • Keith K Mason


  • Polarboy

    Dubaiexpat To be fair before the collapsed lung he had, had four decent years in terms of injury. It is this collapsed lung that seems to have created a snowball effect given that he has admitted that he tried to come back too soon the first time it happened.

  • Mark Burbridge

    Nope. He will never get a run of more than ten games due to some form of injury or another

  • Polarboy

    That’s unfounded rubbish mate, as I was saying below his injury problems over the last 18 months can be traced back to coming back to early the first time his lung collapsed. He had, had four good years before that. To label him terminally injury prone is to not weigh things properly and look at it superficially.

  • GToon

    He could be brilliant for us and im sure thats what the shop keeper is hoping for…………kershinggggggg. as £6m turns into £10m or so. Lets face it, no player is allowed more than one good season before they are put in the January sales.

  • Chemical Dave

    He was bought because he was cheap, a good player but his price reflected the risk involved. Like everything else fat boy does, its for the benefit of his pocket rather than the benefit of the team.