It was really difficult last season for Siem de Jong, who suffered a severe torn thigh muscle in September, and then when he was finally recovering from that, he suffered a collapsed lung last February, for which he received immediate surgery, and he was finally getting to some kind of fitness towards the end of the season.
But nobody would have wished that horrific set of injuries on any new player at the club, and along with Newcastle’s terrible fall down the league in the second half of last season, it must have been a very difficult first season for the Dutch International and former Ajax captain.
Siem de Jong – difficult first season
But things are now much better and Siem has been fit since pre-season began, although Steve McClaren is taking his time in giving Siem playing time, which is good because we don’t want him to break down again.
Currently Gini Wijnaldum is playing in the number 10 role, and he’s also a very good player but the two Dutchman should be able to play together in the same starting eleven.
Here’s what Siem has said today:
“I feel strong – I just need to play games.” “It’s been a long while since I’ve played games. It’s just getting games in.”
“Of course, I’ve trained a lot, especially in the first half of last season when I had the injury.”
“I came back stronger and got the other injury.”
“That drained a lot of energy out of me – I lost a lot of weight.” “It was hard to recover, and I think I did well.”
“Just before the end of the season I was getting stronger, but I just wasn’t strong enough to play the whole game.”
“I didn’t think it was wise to play too much at the end of the season.” “It was important to get a new pre-season in. I’m getting stronger every day.”
“Mentally, it was a tough season as well,” “I’m glad that I’m back on the pitch training again and playing.”
“The more you play and train, the stronger you get. Also, mentally it helps to be back with the team. That’s good.”
“It’s a long season, and hopefully we can have a good start.”
Those are good words from Siem, who is a leader both on and off the pitch, and it will be good to have him involved in the first team, and it helps that Steve McClaren knows all about the player from his time in Holland with FC Twente.
McClaren has talked about Siem today:
“Siem was my nightmare when I worked in the Netherlands.” “The time he was at Ajax, he was, along with Christian Eriksen (at Tottenham now), the best player in the Eredivisie.”
“They’re two quality players.” “People are probably are wondering ‘can they play in the same team?’. ” “Gini can play in any position around the midfield area.”
Gini and Siem are two very good players, and good players can always play together.
There’s no doubt they can both play for Newcastle in the starting line-up – the only question is which positions they will play in.
But Gini, as Steve says, can play any position including as a box-to-box midfielder, which we have never had since Yohan Cabaye left the club in January of last year.
To have two Dutch Masters in the same team cannot be bad, and both can also score goals – so our midfield is going to be strong this season – and they can both score goals too.
Sounds good to us.