Newcastle United fan and Eredivisie correspondent Michael Chapman gives his take on the Magpies purchase of former Ajax man Siem De Jong
Name : Siem De Jong
Current Club : Newcastle United FC
Nationality : Dutch
Position : Attacking Midfielder (Forward)
Age : 25
The transfer news broke quickly and to be honest it was a shock. Last season it was made clear that Siem De Jong was a target of Newcastle United. But the transfer never came to pass, and that was that… at least we thought. Then came the news on Tuesday the 1st of July that Ajax had agreed a fee and Siem De Jong had agreed terms all in one swoop! To say this was a bit of a coup for the Magpies is an understatement.
Siem De Jong grew up playing within the De Graafschap system after joining them at the age of twelve. In 2005 Ajax snapped up the talented sixteen year and placed him within their fabled youth system. He made his debut for the senior team in 2007 scoring an injury time equalizer against Sparta-Rotterdam. He went on to make a total of 22 appearances that season.
The midfielder struggled with injury in the following season but his career really took off in the 2009/2010 when he played 22 matches and scored ten goals. Over the following three seasons De Jong averaged 12 goals in 31 matches. Last season he missed much of the season with injuries, one being a collapsed lung which kept him out approximately a month. Yet it wasn’t enough to keep him from scoring as it was later reported that he had suffered the injury prior to scoring twice in two matches.
Considering their struggles the second half of last season, it is a surprise that a champion and on-the-pitch leader like De Jong has chosen to sign with the Premier League club. Perhaps he looks at this as a challenge, to be a part of a great club and help make them trophy contenders once again. The Cynic in me must of course acknowledge the wage increase he is getting, but still… De Jong doesn’t strike me as a mercenary chasing a paycheck. Where the midfielder fits in the line-up is another question all-together. He isn’t a straight replacement for Yohan Cabaye but he is a creative type who averaged .94 chances created every 90 minutes played last season. Cabaye by comparison created .99 per last season for PSG. Something else Newcastle supporters can look forward to is the Dutchman’s arial prowess, as last season he scored 3 of his 7 goals with his noggin.
That’s correct, he scored SEVEN goals, exactly seven more then his brother Luuk scored last season while splitting time between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Newcastle. So let’s just say the discussed transfer fee Newcastle paid of £6.9 million is accurate, and Siem De Jong at the very least repeats that production in 2014/15, I’d consider the forward a steal at that price.
How do you think Siem De Jong will do at Newcastle United? Can he make an impression in th EPL? Should he have joined a club more likely to challenge for the league title?
Let us know below or on Twitter @90MinuteCynic.
You can follow Michael @NUFC_Monkey