SIEM de Jong will get Newcastle United going this season – by bringing games to a standstill!
De Jong joined the club in a £6million deal last month and has made an impact already, scoring against Sydney FC and Oldham Athletic in his first two appearances for United.
Versatile De Jong – who was expected to feature against Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand’s capital this morning – joined from Dutch champions Ajax, where he was skipper.
United manager Alan Pardew will use de Jong, named as a vice-captain to Fabricio Coloccini, as a striker – or in the No10 role.
Pardew feels the 25-year-old’s vision, range of passing and shooting ability marks him down as one of the players to watch in the Premier League this season.
“Siem’s a player that I love – I love that type of player,” said Pardew. “I’ve had two players of that type at West Ham – Yossi Benayoun and Teddy Sheringham.
“They can make the game stand still and create time for the team.
“He’s an important player for us, and we hope he stays fit.”
De Jong sat out a training session earlier this week with a foot injury, but Pardew was confident he would be fit to face Wellington, who beat West Ham 2-1 on Wednesday.
“We think he will be OK for the game,” said Pardew. “There’s a good chance he will start, because he needs the match practice.”
De Jong missed much of last season through injury.
He sat out the first part of the campaign with a collapsed lung.
Meanwhile, Pardew and 24-man squad will make the 11,500-mile journey back to Tyneside after the game.
United play Championship side Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Wednesday before heading to Germany for a pre-season tournament in Gelsenkirchen staged by Schalke 04. They will play the hosts and Malaga.