SIEM de Jong is the missing link for Newcastle United, according to Alan Pardew.
The summer signing scored on his debut in last night’s 2-1 defeat to Oldham Athletic.
De Jong, handed the captain’s armband by manager Pardew in the absence of Fabricio Coloccini, netted a fine right-footed half- volley in the first period at Boundary Park.
The 14th-minute strike put United ahead, but Oldham fought back after Pardew made a number of substitutions late in the game.
And de Jong was off the field when Timothee Dieng and Willy Gross netted for the home side.
On de Jong’s goal, Pardew said: “It was a nice bonus for us to see that quality on the pitch from one of our new players – it was a fantastic goal.
“Siem got a great goal and showed he is going to produce those moments.”
Pardew believes the 25-year-old, signed from Dutch club Ajax, can bring a footballing intelligence to Newcastle that his side has lacked since the January sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris St-Germain
“Siem offers intelligence, which we perhaps lacked after Yohan Cabaye left, on the pitch,” Pardew told SportMail.
“He’s a player that can pick the right pass. He makes the right decisions, and is an unselfish player.
“He’s captained Ajax. He can play as a striker or the No10 role.
“He can be a link player. That’s something Cabaye did very well for us when I pushed him up there. He’ll be very important to us.”