Newcastle United flop knocks Manchester United out of Europe
As a Newcastle United fan, it is a strange feeling when watching high performing popular players playing and succeeding for other clubs, after moving on.
However, when it is players who showed absolutely nothing at St James Park, it tends to feel bizarre.
Sunday night saw Luuk de Jong the hero, scoring the winner for Sevilla to knock Manchester United out of Europe.
Sevilla reaching their sixth Europa League final in 15 years, they have won all of the previous five. Tonight they find out whether they will face Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2020 final.
Manchester United went in front in the ninth minute, by a penalty of course, their 22nd (TWENTY TWO) penalty of the 2019/20 season – unbelievable.
Saez equalising on 26 minutes and then the moment came for Luuk de Jong, sweeping home the winner in the 78th minute, Sevilla knocking out Manchester United despite the Reds having revenues five times higher.
For 29 year old Luuk de Jong it sets the platform for a great end to what has been a pretty disappointing season for the Dutch international, having scored only seven goals in 44 games (all competitions) this season.
Luuk de Jong arrived at Newcastle United during the very eventful 2013/14 season.
Mike Ashley refused to allow any players to be bought in an 18 month period stretching from January 2013 to June 2014, yet bizarrely things fell so well in the first half of 2013/14.
The loan deal for Loic Remy was a massive hit as he scored 10 goals in his first 15 Premier League starts up to and including Boxing Day 2013, a very decent midfield and attacking unit coming together with Cabaye pulling the strings and the likes of Tiote, Sissoko (honestly!), Ben Arfa and Gouffran, along with attacking full-backs Santon and Debuchy, performing to a high standard.
Mike Ashley then sold Yohan Cabaye for £20m in January 2014 and it all collapsed. Selling your best player mid-season when you are doing so well, took all the optimism, momentum and morale out of the team. Newcastle only won four games in that second half of the season and ended it with seven defeats in the final eight PL matches.
Ashley refused to allow any of the £20m to be spent in that January 2014 window, instead, only Luuk de Jong arrived on loan as Cabaye departed.
Scoring goals for fun at Twente in Holland had got a 21 year old Luuk de Jong a £10m move to Borussia Monchengladbach, but after 18 months of struggling to make a mark, he came to Newcastle for a new start on loan.
After eight starts and four sub appearances, Newcastle fans were less than impressed. Luuk de Jong looked really poor but under the management of Alan Pardew maybe no surprise. Pardew failing to play to the striker’s strenghs.
That summer saw Newcastle instead sign the goalscoring genius that was Emmanuel Riviere, the centre-forward scored one Premier League goal all season and makes Joelinton look like a natural goalscorer.
Meanwhile, Luuk de Jong went back to Holland for £5m and scored for fun once again, 94 goals in 151 league starts at PSV.
That first season after his NUFC loan, Luuk de Jong scored 20 in 32 league games to help PSV win the title, whilst Newcastle with Riviere up top almost got relegated, only reaching safety when winning the final away game of the season at QPR.
Could Luuk de Jong have been a success with Newcastle United in the Premier League? With a different manager and in an ambitious set-up, just maybe. One thing for sure, signing his brother Siem de Jong in that summer of 2014 proved a far bigger disaster than what might have been with Luuk.
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