Newcastle net Ajax skipper Siem de Jong
Newcastle United, 6/4 to finish in the top ten of the Premier League this season, have secured the signature of Ajax star Siem de Jong, for a reported fee of £6m. The Dutch champions have chosen to sell this summer instead of taking the risk of losing their captain on a free transfer next term.
He becomes the Magpies third addition, in what has so far been a busy summer for the northeast club, and follows free transfer Jack Colback and Tenerife youngster Ayoze Perez to St James’ Park.
De Jong, 25, is a youth product from the famed Ajax academy, and served the Amsterdam club for seven seasons, netting 78 times in 244 appearances for his boyhood side.
A versatile forward, De Jong is primarily an attacking midfielder, but can also play further back or as a centre forward, providing Newcastle with plenty of options. Regardless of how he is deployed, the Dutchman, who has worn the armband for his former side for two years, will bring plenty of experience and leadership to Alan Pardew’s team.
The Magpies finished 10th in the Premier League this Premier League last term, having scored 43 goals, only three more than relegated Fulham. They will be hoping the arrival of cultured De Jong on a six-year contract can provide more attacking impetus and finesse, and add star quality and spark to the side. This has been lacking since Yohan Cabaye’s departure.
Despite missing out on a place in Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad, the attacking midfielder with a nose for goal has netted twice in just six caps for the Netherlands, with the majority of his appearances coming in 2013.
De Jong may hope a move to the Premier League can reignite his international career, and has already expressed his delight at the move to England, having “been at Ajax a long time” and wanting “a new challenge in a new environment and a new country.”
Newcastle fans will recall the Clockwork Orange international’s younger brother, Luuk, from his disappointing loan spell with the Magpies last season, when the striker failed to score in 12 appearances. It seems some good did come from that brief encounter, though, as De Jong senior revealed, “It is a big club which my brother told me all about, so I already feel good here”.
Whilst the Magpies faithful will be hoping the former Ajax attacker enjoys a more successful stint with the club than his sibling, Newcastle are now odds-on at 1/20 to stay up in the Premier League this season.