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What Will Rafa Do With This Underperforming Star Player?

12:15 pm, Monday, July 4th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 67 Comments

Turkish outlet Haberturk are reporting today that Turkish giants Fenerbahce have made an enquiry for Newcastle midfielder Siem de Jong, who has been on Tyneside now for two years since he was signed from Ajax, but has so far failed to make an impact.

The Turkish side are said to be looking for a replacement for 31 year-old attacking midfielder Diego Ribas, with the Brazilian International very likely to leave the club this summer.

The report in Haberturk is that Rafa Benitez has asked for £6.75M for the Dutchman, which is slightly more than the £6M we paid for him.

siem de jong training

Siem de Jong – in training

That may be an indication that Rafa wants to keep him on Tyneside and try to get the best out of him in the coming season.

Siem still has four years remaining on the six year deal he signed two years ago and it looks like Rafa is in no hurry to unload his Dutch star, who has lots of class and skill.

There was some nufcTV video over the weekend of Rafa talking to Siem de Jong and we don’t know whether Siem is happy to play in the Championship this season.

Teh 27 year-old did make some noises over the summer about wanting to go out on loan this season to get some first team playing time.

Fenerbahce could offer Champions League football to the six times capped Dutch International, but it really all depends on whether Rafa thinks he can start to get the best out of Siem.

Siem de Jong had a terrible first season on Tyneside because of a string of serious injuries, but se seems to be over that now.

In the two seasons he ‘s been at Newcastle he has appeared only 26 times for Newcastle with 2 goals and an assist.

It may be a good time for Siem to get some games for Newcastle in the less skillful Championship, but it’s also more physical too – and that may be difficult for the slightly build Dutchman?

But Siem has leadership skills and the best outcome would be for him to stay on Tyneside next season and that Rafa starts to bring the best out of Siem, who is a very experienced player.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Contracts · Newcastle News · Pre-season · Siem de Jong · Transfer News and Rumours

67 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    We have De Jong, Sissoko and Gini who are all good quality CAM, I just hope that we can manage to keep at least one of them, De Jong is probably the one who would be the easiest to persuade to stay but his injury record does frighten me, this CAM area is for me the biggest quandary that we currently have, I just hope that we get this position right.

  • 2 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Ed have you been talking to jail, a bit harsh saying under performing, gourffran, rivière and saviet should be moved on before De Jong, not that i want those to leave, they will give us other options during the season.

  • 3 Bambams // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Injuries have ruined his Toon career. I watched him loads when he played for Ajax and he was excellent.

    How long do we wait to see the real SDJ….

    Personally I would keep him and see how he is with a full pre season and take it from there. I would love to see him stay fit and show how good he is. Gain confidence and hopefully we can get promoted and take it into the PL


  • 4 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    Personally reckon De Jong will be gone. He’s not going to want to stay to be an impact sub in the championship, he’s performed in the champions league and captained Ajax (although so has anita).
    I like him, I reckon he could have an impact, but lets be honest, he wouldn’t be in the starting 11 in most of our choice NUFC line ups with the current squad. Reckon a lot comes down to pre season though. Rafa didn’t change too much last year, but the philosophy and system will be completely changed in this preseason and I think who stays will probably come down to who buys into it. Apparantly Tiote and Sissoko are very good trainers. Then again, had a mate who used to freelance fitness coach at the toon under Allardyce, reckoned Ameobi was like Pele in training with the leadership of Bobby Moore so I suppose training isn’t everything.

  • 5 Rafa Revolution // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    Totally forgot we signed Saivet!!!!

    De Jong is gone I think

  • 6 richyg01 // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    I wouldnt say he was an underperformer, more of a fitness nightmare, hes gone from one injury to the next since he arrived.

    I even noticed he had a plaster on his hand on first day back in training.

    I think we should cash in on him if we can get a decent fee, unless Rafa is a medical magician too!

  • 7 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    Speaking of rivière, would be nice if Benitez could use his magic touch on him, he’s got everything, strength, power and pace, Christ he used all that i think it was on his debut against Man City and he went up against kompany who couldn’t handle him all match and he’s one of the best defenders in the league, if only he could practice more on his finishing, he’s got everything.

  • 8 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    Reckon theres more to come from Saivet. He was bought in to replace Tiote who then stayed. In the position we were in, it was always going to be about the now and ready so naturally Tiote played over him, but he is actually a good player with great energy. He’s more than good enough to play for us in the championship and can actually play well as both a defensive and attacking midfielder, a winger and a striker. Doubt they’ll move him on because he’s on some high wages with 5 years left to run but I think it’s harsh to throw him in with Riviere and Gouffran who have both had 30+ games to show they are not up to standard. To be honest though with both, whilst not being premier league level they are probably very good championship players themselves with the more time and space available at that level.

  • 9 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    @welsh – riviere reminds me of an opposite to cisse. Cisse fluffs his lines when hes given time and space to think, whereas riviere needs more time and space. For me he has the strength and workrate to do well in the championship. Before his injury 20 odd championship clubs enquired when we put him up for loan which says a lot.
    I saw enough of him for St Ettienne, Monaco, Toulouse in ligue 1, which is defensively better than the championship to think he could be an asset for us. Hes a heskey tho. He can’t be the main goal threat, but hes a player that works for the team. In france, usually the striker he played alongside scored more goals when riviere played than when he didn’t.

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    I think it would be absolute madness to go into the season with the same defence that has leaked so many goals. Your argument that it is better to stick with what we’ve got was used by many that season we finished fifth. If anywhere needs bolstering it’s the defence. You have to remember as well that those players you’ve listed had just as bad as GA as the seniors, whether that is all down to Beardsley or not we don’t know. Not saying there isn’t room for improvement but they need to be gradually introduced into the team not thrown in, they have very little first team football between them, no good getting to a stage where we have no choice but to play them and they’re not ready. Mbemba will be away for the AFCON as well. We still need a quality CB and a LB or we could be in trouble.

  • 11 Belfast // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    You’d be over the moon if you got 6.75 million for him and his wages of the books.

  • 12 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    I liked what I saw of Riviere when he linked up with Perez.
    If under Rafas’ stewardship he can find his shooting boots then he will do well in the championship.

    Di Jong – get him fit and up to speed he’ll be brilliant in the championship – he’ll run the show

  • 13 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed anything like Riverie against Bournemouth, the way he was jumping for balls that were literally ten yards behind him. He looked like he’d taken leave of his senses.

  • 14 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Riverie looks like a Graham Carr fifth choice type player.

  • 15 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:43 PM


    De Jong could run the show as you say, but only if he plays often enough and can we rely upon his fitness, as good as he could be I think I would rather get rid and force either Gini or Sissoko to stay, they may not like it but tough, they are under contract and can be relied upon more than what De Jong can be, nothing against De Jong as a player as he is good, but sadly he is made of glass.

  • 16 G // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    @13, I have a feeling Riveie might actually do well in the champo? Just thinking of how frightening for Champo defences it would be if they had a front 2 of Gayle & Riverie running at them? Brown shorts moment I think?

  • 17 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    @Jail – riviere had a bad game against Bournemouth, and yeah the defence was bad. But under Benitez, the defence will be far more organised, we were actually very solid once mcCLaren had gone.
    Add the organisation of benitez to the fact that theres a massive difference in the level that we will be playing against next season and we have potentially solid defence. We’re going to go from being up against man city and man utd to Burton and Rotherham most weeks, the difference in quality is huge! I’m not sure you could name me a better back 4 in the championship than Janmaat, Mbemba, Lascelles and Dummett….

  • 18 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Yes I would like Gini and Sissoko to stay but I think it’ll be a tall order – hope not

  • 19 Rafa Revolution // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    we need a couple of cb’s especially as Mbemba will be at Cup of Nations in Jan

  • 20 Back Door Man // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    That Newcastle United Foundation 1892 Cup promo photo shows four kids, three of whom are tubby.  Perhaps I was wrong when I wrote a couple of weeks ago …

    “That new strip looks like those striped frocks that fat lasses wear to con folks that they’re skinny.

    I’ve never understood the need for fans to buy a new version of the strip each and every year; vile polyester tat! Years ago I got a lovely cotton shirt from Toffs … a 1950s Cup Final Retro Shirt.”

  • 21 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Going totally off topic, would anyone like to see us go for Robson-Kanu, he has looked a real handful for Wales and is a free agent who probably wouldn’t be asking for a huge wage, we do need a squad with depth and he could provide some decent quality depth and in fairness we don’t really have that many wingers, then again he could turn out to be a one tournament wonder which may well be the case when you look at his club record

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:53 PM

    One of our biggest problems under Ashley has been a lack of competition for places, it’s all very well saying they’re the best back four but if there is no competition then they know they will play the next game regardless. How many times have we seen us hummed four, Five or six and the exact same defence has been picked the next game. A new keeper has been brought in whose not used to picking the ball out of the net, I think it’s essential we get at least two new defenders.

  • 23 Back Door Man // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Like Welshie, I also have a ‘soft spot’ for Rivière and would like to see him do well.

    I’m with Bobby on the Armstrong question,  and, if he’s correct Manuel WILL recognise the lad’s talent and should use him. 

  • 24 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    I really don’t see what Riviere has done to justify any sort of faith in him. In terms of the central attacking two (be it in a 4231, or 442), he is behind Mitro, Gayle, Perez, Arma, Cisse, De Jong, Gouffran and probably Gini and Moussa as well. If we can get any interest in him, then he should be gone.

    The only role I’d be interested in seeing him given a chance in is on the left hand side of the 3 in 4231, but I still think he isn’t really up to it, plus in that role he is surely behind Aarons, Perez and Gini.

    De Jong I have a bit more time for, but given his injuries if Fenerbahce were to offer that amount then we would be better off allowing him to leave and going after someone else.

    Given he likely isn’t a starter, I’d be interested to see more of Kemar Roofe of Oxford. Plays an attacking mid role and can play up front, young and very highly rated. Alternatively Nick Powell is on a free and has a good record at this level, but he is another who has had his fair share of injuries. Both young enough to develop further and good enough to be competition to the starting 11 this season to prevent complacency.

  • 25 JamesToon // Jul 4, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Don’t see the point in keeping Riviere and Gouffran, we’re only ever gonna play a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1, and he’s behind Mitro, Arma and Gayle

  • 26 martoon // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    I really can’t see both Gini & Sissoko staying. Sissoko is now a winning Euro quarter final player and Gini just doesn’t want to be here now with rumours of Roma sniffing around. They may be here for the start of the season but I’d be surprised if they are still here when the window closes.

  • 27 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Who’s Manuel?

  • 28 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    Strengthening the defence is a no brainer, Janmaat cannot defend and should be replaced, so in reality we need two right backs as we had no cover at all for him, Haidara is another who believes that defending is not his job and the glass he is made of is thinner than the glass which De Jong is made of, we desperately need another left back to replace Haidara as I truly hope that I do not see Aarons as a left back again, assuming that his glass bones don’t have another crack in them and he is available, and as for the CB’s, I do like both Lascellas and Mbemba, but apart from them two who else do we have ?, kids is probably the answer and seing as the two I have just mentioned are also kids then we really do need to strengthen and strengthen with a bit of experience.

  • 29 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    afternoon all
    personally i would keep SDJ,he seems to have an intelligence to find passes which the likes of gayle,perez,ritchie,aarons and arma could thrive off,especially when its looking likely that gini and sissoko are lookin like they may be off…yes he’s had a crap time with injuries but rafas team may well be already looking to get him sorted.

  • 30 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    Definitely need centre backs. It looks like Colo won’t be released until one is in, which is sensible, but we have lost Willo and Saylor who, whilst hardly top class, did give us depth. Satka really struggled when he went on loan last year.

    Good, Haidara and even Dummet have had regular injury troubles – I think Satka has as well so it would be a risk relying on all four as regulars in and around the first team.

    We need at least one, but more likely 2 centre backs in. Probably a right back if Janmaat goes, and given Haidara’s fitness a left back as well. So I’d say 3 defenders at least are needed, but which position in particular could vary given the versatility of some players.

  • 31 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    @Jail – I definitely want defenders bought in, just think with all squads in the championship considered, if the window closed today we’d walk that league.
    Kemar Roofe is a great shout. Saw him last season play once in the cup, looked a real talent!

  • 32 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:11 PM


    We should have kept Willo, I know that he was shyte for us in the prem but in hopefully the best Championship side in the league I am sure he could have been good enough back up.

  • 33 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    I see the Portuguese are complaining about the size of Gareth Bale’s heed. They are worried it will obscure the goalkeeper’s vision and give an unfair advantage.

  • 34 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    @Lilongwe – remember you talking about Gary White a while ago, did you see he’s just taken over at a club in China? Becoming a real Nomad of football, be interested to see if he ever gets a chance at a decent English job

  • 35 SA Toon // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    Now that he seems to have got over his injuries, I really want to see what Siem can do. He’s a talented footballer and a natural leader and, given a little bit more time and space (which seems to be the case in the Championship), I think he could be a very effective player. This season could help him find his form again and after all the time we’ve invested in him over the passed year or so, I think we need to see what he can do for us before allowing him to move on.

  • 36 geordie157 // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    If we get couple in this week, that’s a promising start. Will be interesting to see who we offload if offers come in.

    I can see vuckic heading back to rangers.

  • 37 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    He did really well in the Championship by all accounts after leaving us. Out of him, Colo and Saylor, he would have been the one that I think most fans would have preferred still in the squad currently. Still, I would like to think that we can bring in centre backs of a better quality, or at the same level but with more potential for progression this summer.

  • 38 Laurent Robert 32 // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Shame we’re not playing another Rangers or Celtic pre-season game this year. My pal lives near there so it’s been a good one to go to over the years. Last time was part of the fabled ‘grass was too long’ excuse. As my pictures showed, it was fine.

  • 39 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    Yeah, I saw that. Interesting move for him. I’d love to see him get a chance here, and I know he is keen to come back and work in the UK at one point. He is still relatively young, so I wouldn’t rule it out in the future. He could make big money in China though the way Chinese football is going.

    I’ve chatted with him a few times about football development as he has done a lot in that area, he did mention to me that he was offered a job in the UK as a manager, but he was still very committed to Guam’s campaign at the time, so turned it down. With the campaign now over, heading back for more experience at club level is probably a good step for him.

  • 40 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    i’ve read on here people mentioning the blackburn cb’s,duffy and hanley also caulker and ayala…if lascelles and mbemba are to stay, i think it would be to play first team football,if so…could’nt see any of the above players joining as squad members…unless they are to push mbemba into a holding midfield role…can only see us maybe signing young players on the fringe of big squads or players nearing the end of there contracts tbh.

  • 41 Rafa Revolution // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Springy fair point but we do need a couple of CB’s in

  • 42 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    rafa rev
    i agree mate,but the names being mentioned might raise expectations,that may not be fulfilled by the signing that comes in.

  • 43 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:25 PM


    We play 46 league games next season, so assuming that we play two CB’s in all our league games that will be 92 occasions where a CB will be needed, having three first team regulars will give then on average more than 30 games apiece, so having 3 established CB’b with perhaps another younger CB as cover is for me a bare minimum.

  • 44 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Both Hanley and Duffy are only 24, but have experience as well. There was a story out that Duffy could be available for just £2million with Celtic being interested. At that sort of price he would be a very good signing to come in as competition.

    Mbemba still has a lot of work to do to become a very good centre back, and Lascelles has only shown form here for a small number of games. He was very much in and out of the team in his last year at Forest. Relying on those two as our only senior, main pairing with good experience would be a huge risk. I’d like one of Hanley or Duffy, and then a more experienced centre half who can help the others.

  • 45 martoon // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    I agree with others – the squad probably is good enough to win the Championship except for our defence. It’s a long, hard season and we are bound to pick up injuries & suspensions so we need more Centre Backs, probably another 2.

  • 46 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    just my thoughts like i stated above@42…we do need cover of course i agree.

  • 47 Rafa Revolution // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Definitely gonna need an established CB when Mbemba goes to Africa Cup

  • 48 Rafa Revolution // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    A Richard Keogh type would be good

  • 49 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    @Lilongwe – don’t know much about Chinese football but pretty sure the team he has taken over are in a similar position to the the toon? favourites to win the division under the top division.
    If the F.A had anything about them, he is the kind of person they would speak to about the national team set up! Similarly, not seen him linked, but Villas boas did a great job as Virgin islands manager and helping set up their whole set up. Some managers not suited for club management can actually succeed at international level. Managers like AVB, White, even van gaal, that take an interest in coaching throughout the age groups and have ideas on the whole bigger picture are who they should be talking to, if not to appoint then just for ideas. International football for me is for the more intelligent manager than scouts well and understands tactics, its no place for the manager who succeeds by coaching. Its why I think benitez would fail,why pardew would be a catastrophe and also why hodgson, capello etc have failed.
    England effectively need a manager that wants to look at development throughout the age groups and really implement a philosophy and structure. Unfortunately they’ll in all likelihood hire a manager that’s had some club success and fail again. To hear names like allardyce is shocking! Similarly, they shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Klinnsmann is the answer. This copa America aside, hes taken US football backwards and his job was a goner if they didn’t succeed this summer and even that might not prove enough to save him.

  • 50 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    i think any of the player i mentioned @40 would be a great addition to our squad,just have to wonder about the cb positions.

  • 51 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    Hanley is a very decent solid CB to be fair.Someone earlier said that Mbemba is out for African nations? 46 games is a lot too. Also against some sides, Mbemba can cover full back effectively like he did against Man Utd. Theres also the chance we could play 3 at the back on occasion or at least want the option to.

  • 52 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    will be interesting to see what formation rafa plays…i expect the usual 4-2-3-1…but may change after the drop.

  • 53 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    I’m not all that fussed on the next England manager. I’m more interested in who Malawi will appoint than England. There needs to be significant structural changes to the way the game is developed in England (and in Malawi) for the country to really kick on at international level, then once that is in place a tactician should come in to oversee pulling the elite players together in the national set up.

  • 54 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    matt phillips to west brom…looks like sissoko out of luck!lol

  • 55 SPRINGY // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    ryt im off to gym…later people.

  • 56 Rotonda heights // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    why refer to benitez as manuel.

  • 57 Rafa Revolution // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Rotonda I agree bit of a stereotype

  • 58 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Don’t know who said Manuel, but I’m sure it is just tongue in cheek and a bit of fun based on his ‘Fat Spanish Waiter’ tag. Seen players and managers called far worse on here.

  • 59 cyprus // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    When we brought in SDJ we gloated, laughed at Ajax for releasing him at only 6 mil. Well to quote that Farage clown, who’s laughing now.

    Unfortunate on injuries. However, sell.

  • 60 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Not sure if I’m happy about saint Rafa being likened to an idiotic Spanish waiter.

  • 61 Belfast // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    There is one small problem when selling Dr Jong: How the ferk is he going to pass a medical ?? 🙂

    Two collapsed lungs??

    Best a luck.

  • 62 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    @Lilongwe – Malawi job not going to the current guy then? Thought they’d done ok in qualification games up until the Zimbabwe game though I’m not that up to date on Malawi football.
    Saw them beat Algeria 3-0 a few years ago, was one of the most surprising games I’ve ever watched

  • 63 martoon // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    I just thought I’d check if Mbemba is actually going to the 2017 ACN but as he plays for DR Congo who are top of their group with 1 game to play on 3 September the chancels (see what I did there 🙂 ) are he will be.

  • 64 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:14 PM


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