Newcastle net PSV Eindhoven captain Georgino Wijnaldum for £14.5m
Newcastle United, 11/4 with Coral for a top 10 finish, have announced the signing of PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum on a five-year contract.
The 24-year-old becomes the Magpies’ second most expensive signing in history behind the £16.8m paid for Michael Owen a decade ago at a reported £14.5m fee.
“I’m delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” Wijnaldum told the club’s official website. “I felt the time was right for me to move and the club have shown they really want me, so I’m very happy to be here.
“There’s a few players here who are from Holland – I know them well and they will help me feel at home in Newcastle. I know the club has a great stadium with great fans. I want to play here as soon as possible – I want to feel the atmosphere and hear the crowd. I cannot wait to get started.”
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Magpies manager Steve McClaren added: “This signing is a real statement for the club. It is a big transfer for a very good player and I am delighted to have Gini here at the club.
“He has lots of energy and a great tempo to his game. He is very skillful but is also capable of playing box-to-box, and – importantly – he can score goals.
“He is at the right age and the right fit for Newcastle. He is a leader as well and you will see that. He is someone who always wants the ball, can deal with it, and we need that kind of character in the team.”
McClaren’s first summer signing has several compatriots on the books at St James’ Park. Wijnaldum joins Vurnon Anita, Siem de Jong and Tim Krul on Tyneside.
Grabbing 14 goals from midfield in Eindhoven’s Eredivisie winning season, Newcastle reportedly beat off competition from bitter Northeast rivals Sunderland, managed by Dutch coach Dick Advocaat, to land Wijnaldum.
Despite those two working together at the Philips Stadion in 2012/13, it’s McClaren who has brought the current Dutch Footballer of the Year, a prestigious accolade won by many Premier League players past and present, to England.
Wijnaldum follows in the footsteps of Dennis Bergkamp, Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez in receiving that award. He’s also the fourth successive recipient of the Dutch Football of the Year prize after Jan Vertonghen, Wilfried Bony and Daley Blind to then move to the Premier League.