Tag Archives: Newcastle United

Can Newcastle land Feyenoord’s £20m Great Dane?

It emerged earlier this week that the usually financially hand-cuffed Premier League club Newcastle United were set to bid £20m for a striker.  The name of the player was a mystery until the cat was out the bag late Tuesday night. The Dutch press received a leak from Feyenoord that the player in question was indeed Danish international Nicolai Jørgensen writes Will Burns.

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Last year’s Eredivisie top scorer with a 21 goals, Jørgensen has been valued by Martin van Geel, Feyenoord’s sporting director at £20m, but Newcastle have made a bid nowhere near that valuation as time of writing.

Now the Rotterdammers may well be playing financial hard ball, it’s understandable why. While rivals Ajax and PSV are profiting well from England’s megabucks (selling stars consistently to the Premier League), Feyenoord’s income is set to heavily diminish next term due to the incredibly likely failure to qualify for the Champions League next season. Currently sitting in fifth on 33 points, Feyenoord are 16 points behind current league leaders PSV.

Meanwhile, taking a lower offer for the Dane may be an option after bringing club legend Robin van Persie home this past week. Although the 34-year-old will be taking a pay cut from times past, he will still make a dent in the profit margins.

In this inflated world of the transfer windows, signing on-fees and agents is Jørgensen worth £20m in today’s market?  I’m no fortune teller but if Newcastle United can land the striker, this is what I see they are getting for the hefty fee…

A Proven Asset

The 27-year-old Jørgensen began his footballing journey in his homeland of Denmark as a left-winger and stayed in that position for the majority of his career. After exciting crowds, cutting inside and striding past defences during his youth career at Akademisk Boldklub, he earned a transfer to the bright lights of the Bundesliga at just aged 19 with Bayer Leverkusen. It proved to be a big step, too early as he struggled to win a starting berth in the first team and moved out on loan unsuccessfully to Kaiserslautern until returning to Denmark with FC Copenhagen.

Due to his 6ft 3inch height, he was moved into a target man role before heading to Rotterdam in June 2016 for €3.5m from Copenhagen where his presence really took them to greatness. The Løverne clinching the Danish league title two times and runner-up twice in his five years at the club. He notched a total of 51 times in 137 appearances in all competitions.

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He continued his trophy collecting inside just nine months in Holland, claiming the Eredivisie Golden Boot with the aforementioned 21 strikes, helping Feyenoord on their way to their first Eredivisie shield since 1999.

Now, Newcastle United have yet to win a major trophy since 1969, I’m not saying he can work a miracle to make them title contenders however he can add a lot to the team. But please don’t expect a prolific goalscorer, though he could encourage others to help fill that void.

Powerhouse and Poacher

Last season, even though he owns a towering frame, Jørgensen did not score a header, not a bad thing though as playing along with Feyenoord’s short passing football game, he displayed a great poacher’s instinct with fantastic reaction and composed, cool finishing. He possesses decent speed, great technical ability with superb passing range and link-up play. During the championship winning season in Rotterdam last year, along with notching the 21 goals – he layed on 11 assists.  His power allows him to hold a ball up and torture weaker defenders and if you have fast wingers on the counter attack, a chance is likely to be created.

After speaking to many that know all about the Danish game when playing internationally under Åge Hareide’s Denmark, Jørgensen has become an asset. After the years of possession football under Morten Olsen, Hareide changed the Danes attacking methods to a direct, physical style over the past six months and saw great results. Again, Jørgensen was a real key in this success. He showed he can provide an aerial threat, providing knock-ons for the vertical runs of speedster Pione Sisto from the wings.

A Future on Tyneside?

Although we have to be realistic here and realise the Eredivisie is a massive gulf in class to England’s Premier League, he does seem an ideal signing at this time for Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle. A side that lacks the domineering presence in the air to give them a Plan B in troubled times.

He gives you an opportunity to complement a direct approach and win headers in the 18 yard box when you really need that goal. He is someone who will be on the line, on the penalty spot ready to poke home, something that has really hampered the Toon’s season so far – missing that finisher.

He has proven at a lower level (Danish and Dutch leagues) to be a capable goalscorer, but in my opinion as I’ve stated, I feel he offers much, much more than that.

Can he be the asset on Tyneside that he proved to be in Copenhagen and Rotterdam?

Only time will tell… but the Geordies and especially owner Mike Ashley will have to get the chequebook dusted off first.


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Newcastle’s Siem de Jong – The forgotten man of Dutch football

He is the forgotten man in Dutch football and hasn’t even been mentioned when people discuss the future of Oranje. Siem de Jong was once thought to be one of the best players coming through in the Eredivisie, but a move to Newcastle United has sent his career backwards significantly. Before the move, he was Ajax captain and he was certainly an option to captain the national side in the future. The move to England was meant to enhance his Oranje hopes and give him the platform to become a big name across Europe. However, his two years at the club have only brought four league starts, while he has featured as a substitute a further 18 times tells Jake Jackman.

Newcastle signed De Jong to play the number ten role, behind Papiss Cisse and provide the creative spark that the club had missed since selling Yohan Cabaye. Many thought he would do well at the club, as he is a great passer of the ball, and has an intelligence in the final third that can’t be trained. The former Ajax man isn’t afraid of the physical side of the game, and should have been able to adapt to the style of the English game. He started well, and had a good start to pre-season before disaster struck.

The Dutchman injured his calf during the pre-season of 2014 and was perhaps rushed back by Alan Pardew, who had planned to build around De Jong.  That proved a huge error as he suffered a thigh injury during a match against Crystal Palace. The attacker hasn’t had much luck with injuries and these have prevented him from getting a regular place in the Newcastle first team. Another collapsed lung and a freak eye injury have also kept him out of action. He has certainly had more than his fair share of bad luck during his spell in England.

Last season, there were hopes that De Jong would be able to play a big role for Newcastle under Steve McClaren, a man who knew him well from his time as FC Twente manager. The club opted to sign Georginio Wijnaldum from PSV, and this is when alarm bells started to ring for De Jong. His compatriot wasn’t signed as a back-up considering the fee paid for him and his best position was the number ten role, the same as De Jong. McClaren said often that the two could play in the same side, but that never looked likely. De Jong looked to have broken into the first team starting in the wins against Liverpool and Tottenham. His leadership appeared to help the side in terms of game management, and it isn’t surprising they gave two of their best performances of the season with De Jong on the pitch. However, he quickly resorted to playing a squad role.

His club are going through a resurgence under Rafael Benitez and it is unknown whether De Jong will be a part of his plans this season in the Championship. It isn’t the level that he will want to be playing at, but it would give him the opportunity to increase his confidence and gain a first team place at a club hoping to be back in the Premier League next season. There will be players that benefit from the relegation and emerge as key players in the second tier, who wouldn’t have been as involved if they had remained in the Premier League. De Jong can certainly be one of those, as he has the talent and leadership required to secure a starting berth at Newcastle.

This year is hugely important for De Jong. At the age of 27, he still has time to have a good career and his national team prospects aren’t entirely gone. A link to Fenerbahce is interesting, and could appeal to De Jong, who has already said he isn’t ready to return to Holland, although he isn’t ruling it out. His younger brother, Luuk, also had a disappointing time at Newcastle, but opted to join PSV and rebuild his reputation. Two championships later and an Oranje recall later and his decision appears inspired. He could learn a lot from his younger sibling and the Eredivisie could be the best destination for him. He could yet stay at Newcastle, and there is no doubting his leadership qualities could be an asset. The side lacked it last year and played better when the Dutchman was on the pitch. His future is unclear, but he needs to make the right decision. He has had two years out of the limelight, he can’t afford a third.


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Depay or Wijnaldum? Did Manchester United buy the wrong player from PSV?

PSV had perhaps their best team for years last season and clinched the Eredivisie with relative comfort, with Memphis Depay and Gini Wijnaldum taking most of the plaudits. Both managed to secure a move to the Premier League, but they have had differing fortunes in England. The former has struggled and has lost his place in the side to the homegrown Jesse Lingard, which shows how Depay has under-performed this season. Meanwhile, Wijnaldum has been a revelation for Newcastle, despite their struggles as a side. He has stood out as a complete midfielder capable of taking his Eredivisie form into the Premier League, which begs the question, why weren’t there bigger clubs in for him last summer? And did Manchester United buy the wrong player from PSV last summer asks Jake Jackman.

20160130 - Depay vs Wijnaldum

Manchester United wanted to add some attacking talent to their squad over the summer and opted for Depay, who was excellent last season for PSV, scoring 22 goals and getting 5 assists. However, Manchester United don’t play out and out wingers, which has prevented Depay from settling in. Also he is only 21 years old and perhaps Manchester United underestimated how much time the Dutchman needed to reach his best form. He has scored just two goals in 17 league appearances and has looked like a weak link at times, especially against Stoke when the first goal was down to his poor touch.

The one time dominant force of English football haven’t managed to get a balanced partnership in central midfield, with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin being very similar, and none of them offer that attacking impetus from deep, which makes the team one dimensional in attack. This is why I feel Georginio Wijnaldum would have been a better fit for Louis van Gaal’s side this summer, as he can play in central midfield, and he is a forward-thinking player, who would have given their midfield another dimension. It’s odd that the club didn’t at least try to sign Wijnaldum, considering that the manager knows him well from his time as manager of the national side.

Another reason why Wijnaldum would have been a better fit is that he has been involved in transferring clubs before, and he is far more experienced than Depay. This has allowed him to be better prepared for moving to a new league, which is evident in his immediate impact. He has nine goals and three assists for Newcastle, and he still has 16 games to play. The Dutchman has a great chance of securing a big goal tally for the season, which is rare for a midfielder in his debut Premier League season. He has the potential to be one of the most complete midfielders produced in the Netherlands since Wesley Sneijder. Although he would have had less freedom at Manchester United, he would have been a better fit than Memphis Depay and would have been a big improvement on their current midfield options.

It is concerning to see the failures of Depay this season and Manchester United doesn’t look a good fit for him. Hopefully he manages to make an impact in the second half of the season as he has a lot of talent and it would be a shame for his confidence to be hit so soon after his big money move. If he doesn’t do any better before the summer, he should try and look for a move away from Old Trafford, unless van Gaal departs as it doesn’t look like he will ever have sustained success under his former national team manager. In hindsight, Depay should have moved to a smaller club, in order to bridge from PSV to a huge Champions League club, like Wijnaldum has.



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Why should Georginio Wijnaldum join Newcastle United?

Over the last few days, Georginio Wijnaldum has been heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United in both the British and Dutch press. Although there have been differing reports, there is definitely talks going on between the two clubs and some sources such as the Daily Mail suggest that a deal has been agreed between Newcastle and PSV Eindhoven. Some observers have commented their surprise that Wijnaldum would consider a move to Newcastle, especially after such a good season captaining PSV to their first championship since 2008 writes Jake Jackman.

The Eredivisie has always been a league which has some excellent young players, and Wijnaldum has been one of those for a number of years now. However there has to be a time when players leave Holland to try and reach the very top of the game as sadly the Eredivisie isn’t the platform to do that.

The rumours about Wijnaldum have created a buzz on Tyneside as he is a very exciting player, who will bring goals and assists to St James’ Park. He is a number ten, who can also play in central midfield and on the wing, making him a versatile option in the final third for Newcastle. It isn’t a position that Newcastle need to strengthen, but the Dutchman will add quality and competition in the attacking positions and that is never a bad thing. Steve McClaren has a good knowledge of the Dutch game after managing FC Twente on two separate occasions and he has had a big role in Newcastle’s decision in chasing Wijnaldum and this suggests he has a role in mind for the PSV captain.

He scored 14 league goals last season and contributed 3 assists. The Premier League is a physical league, and Wijnaldum has the pace and strength to adapt quickly to the league. He is a skilled dribbler, who likes to run with the ball at pace. The main strengths in his game are his dribbling ability and his quality when it comes to playing through balls to his team-mates. The Dutchman isn’t the best when it comes to the defensive side of the game, and he will need to work on his tackling especially if he does join Newcastle.

The key reason for Wijnaldum to consider a move to Newcastle is that it would allow him to play regularly in what many consider to be the best league in the world. The midfielder has the ability to play for one of the biggest clubs in Europe, but they won’t be willing to pay the money for him until he proves himself in a bigger league than the Eredivisie. The likes of PSG and Manchester United have been linked with the midfielder recently, but Wijnaldum would be far from guaranteed regular first team football at these sort of clubs. Newcastle may not be in European competition, but they are televised across the world and there is a clear path to Champions League clubs as Yohan Cabaye, Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy have showed in recent seasons.

Newcastle are pouncing now for the playmaker due to Wijnaldum’s own desire to leave the Eredivisie which gives the club more leeway to get the midfielder for a better price. In January, or last summer, it would have been much more difficult for any club to sign Wijnaldum, but the game is becoming more centred on player power and the progress made in this transfer highlights that.

If he does make the move to St James’ Park, it will be a good environment for the midfielder as he will be surrounded by fellow Dutchman in Vurnon Anita, Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat and Siem de Jong, which will allow Wijnaldum to settle quickly into life in the North East. Playing in a side with fellow compatriots will mean that he still has a great chance of playing a huge role for the national side. Tim Krul and Daryl Janmaat have remained part of Holland squads throughout their time on Tyneside, showing that moving to Newcastle wouldn’t dent Wijnaldum’s Euro 2016 hopes.

The reason Newcastle will appeal to the PSV captain is that it will give him the platform to perform on a bigger stage and attract interest from Champions League clubs. If he remains at PSV, he would have to impress these clubs in the Champions League, which may only be the group stage for the Dutch club, which only gives the midfielder six matches to impress.


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Contrary to the Dutch philosophy; the Oranje backline seems evident for silverware

The key to being successful in ‘The Beautiful Game’ is defense; as the old saying goes “Offense wins games, Defense wins championships”. For ‘Oranje’, the latter seems to always take a back seat, but with defensive clubs such as Chelsea and Juventus having remarkable success, maybe it is time for the Netherlands to change their perspective. With talented young defenders moving up through the ranks of their respective clubs, there could be a new horizon for the Netherlands. So here is a look at a few promising defenders that could take Holland from contender to champions.  Thomas Tittley writes…


The 23-year-old defender for Celtic has flourished in the Scottish Premiership and is now ready to move on, as he has been linked to both Everton and Southampton. Van Dijk has dominated the Scottish league and while some sceptics will claim it is a rather weak league, he has proven his talents by playing exceptionally well in Europe.  Van Dijk is a tall 6-foot-3 (1.93m), and is a bull on defense, using his size and strength and athleticism to overpower attacking players. Capable of muscling strong center forwards off the ball, while having the pace to keep up with quick and shifty wingers, Van Dijk averaged 0.7 tackles a game in Europe. Virgil has also shown his aptitude tactically as well, averaging an outstanding 3.4 interceptions a game in. To put that into perspective, Chelsea, one of the top defensive teams in England, averaged a total of 9.8 per game. Hopefully for Van Dijk, and Dutch fans, he will soon get his first international cap and be a part of a winning culture.


The young central defender from Lazio has been a part of the Netherlands senior squad for a number of years now as the 23-year-old has already made 27 appearances, even wearing the captain’s armband during Holland’s friendly against Spain on March 31st after Sneijder left the pitch. He impressed during the bronze medal World Cup run as he appeared in every match that Holland played, even scoring the third goal of the 5-1 thrashing that the Netherlands handed Spain in the first game. This is proof that De Vrij is highly respected within the dressing room and by the coaching staff. Fortunately, it is not only his leadership and poise that are his desired attributes, his skill on the football pitch is evident. Like Van Dijk he is also rarely caught out of position, averaging 3.6 interceptions a game and 6.1 clearances a game, comparing that to the legendary Sergio Ramos, who only averaged 2.4 interceptions and 3.9 clearances, De Vrij’s numbers are extraordinary. If Holland are to succeed, De Vrij will have to continue to show his skills on the pitch and in the dressing room.


If you could create a left-back in a simulator, it would be Jetro Willems, a player with dynamic pace able to bomb forward and harass defences, while still able to track back and help his own back line. It is that dynamic pace that leaves managers around the world salivating over his potential. Not only does the young man possess vast amounts of pace, but the ability to pick a pass. The electrifying winger linked up well with now former teammate Memphis Depay to create a devastating left wing attack, and when able to get by a defender, possesses great quality in his left foot and whip in crosses to devastating effect. Willems accumulated a staggering thirtheen assists this season in the Eredivisie, second most behind only Hakim Ziyech. To put that into perspective, the closest defender to that assist total was Bart van Hintum with 7, which put him tied for 14th in the league. But with his partner Depay gone, there is much speculation that Willems could also be headed out of the Eredivisie. Young Willems surprisingly made the 2012 Euro cup squad and even played in a handful of games, although nothing extraordinary. He has improved drastically since then, particularly attacking-wise, and will look to be the long-term left back for the Oranje in the future.


Janmaat was a Dutchman who had a bit of a coming out party during the 2014-2015 season with Newcastle United. The 25-year-old right back moved from Feyenoord last season and struggled early on trying to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, but he eventually settled in and became one of Newcastle’s only consistent players. A very attacking right-back, Janmaat is strong in the tackle and has a sharp eye for making key passes that dissect opposing defences. Daryl totalled six assists this season, impressive for a right-back, particularly one that had an incredibly stagnant offense like Newcastle. Something Janmaat specializes in is the long pass, making 2.1 long passes a game, crucial for a team trying to attack when transitioning from defence to offense. This type of pass is particularly effective when wingers who possess immense amounts of pace are on the receiving end of the pass. With players who possess this type of speed such as Arjen Robben, Memphis Depay, Quincy Promes, Eljero Elia and Jeremain Lens available, the long pass could be the difference between winning and losing. Fortunately, Janmaat also takes care of his defensive responsibilities, tallying 2.8 tackles a game, tied for 20th in the entire Premier League, remarkable for a player more known for his ability to dribble at defenders and attacking flare. Janmaat could be the key that unlocks the treasure chest of trophies available for the Netherlands in the years to come.

These young men will have to continue to develop and improve if Holland wish to become truly elite and finally win that ever elusive World Cup.


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Evaluation of the 2014/15 Eredivisie Exports

In this piece, Jake Jackman focuses on five players who departed the Eredivisie this summer and determining whether they have been a hit or miss so far for their new club. Obviously it’s far too early to judge any player in his new environment, but these are initial reactions to the opening half of the season.

Graziano Pelle

The Italian has had a rather up and down career after failing to make it in his native Italy, but the past few seasons have been exceptional for Pelle, with his performances leading to a call up to the national side in September. The striker scored on his Italian debut, and he could be a late bloomer on the international scene becoming a top striker for Italy in the process. Many were doubting Southampton and some of their summer signings, but the side from the South Coast have been brilliant so far. The Italian has scored 9 in all competitions for Southampton so far, making him a great signing. He has scored 64 goals in his last 77 games in all competitions making him one of the hottest properties in football at the moment. Feyenoord struggled at the beginning of the season and it’s obvious to see why, any side would miss a goalscorer of Pelle’s class.

Verdict: HIT

Alfred Finnbogason

The former Heerenveen striker actually outscored Pelle in last season’s Eredivisie and many would have expected him to make a name for himself yet in Spain. He has only started twice for Real Sociedad and he is yet to break his duck. This is a player who had a lot of interest last summer, including some from the Premier League, and the Spanish league may not be the one best suited to him and it’s showing early in his Sociedad career. The Finn scored 29 league goals last season, his finishing ability is undoubted, which is why I expect him to make an impact in Spain once he has settled, but at the moment it isn’t going his way.

Verdict: MISS

Stefan De Vrij

Lazio got themselves a bargain when they signed the Dutch World Cup star from Feyenoord as the defender has slotted seamlessly into their defence and impressed over the opening matches of the Serie A. He may have already been sent off in Italy, but he has been very assured in the back line, making 3.3 interceptions per match. The organisational aspect of the Italian game will have a positive effect on de Vrij, who will continue to improve. It’s unlikely that this is going to be the biggest move of his career as he has the potential to become a top class player in one of the world’s major leagues.

Verdict: HIT

Daryl Janmaat

Another player that departed Feyenoord was right back Daryl Janmaat, who has become one of the first names on Alan Pardew’s team sheet in the North East of England. He has started every Premier League match for the Magpies this season, while he has yet to miss a minute of football in the league this season. The right back has started well in England, scoring a goal in his second match at St James’ Park. In every match he has played, he has been a massive threat going forwards, especially when he cuts inside and unleashes powerful shots from distance. He was signed to replace Mathieu Debuchy and at the moment, he looks like he has the ability to surpass the Frenchman’s achievements in the Newcastle side, already leveling Debuchy’s goal count.

Verdict: HIT

Dusan Tadic

Southampton signed another one of the best players of last season’s Eredivisie in Dusan Tadic, who was known for his creativity in FC Twente’s side. Last season, he contributed 16 goals and 14 assists, which is an incredible return from midfield. He has already shown his incredible eye for a pass on the South Coast, contributing six assists to date, including four against Sunderland alone. The Serbian also has one goal to his name. He hasn’t shown the goal threat he showed in the Eredivisie, but that will grow as he adjusts to the division. He is having 2.7 shots per game, highlighting that he is getting in goalscoring positions, he is just yet to become clinical in front of goal in England, but there is no doubt he has been great for Southampton this season

Verdict: HIT

The players above highlight the quality in the Eredivisie and the successes of these players will only bring more scouts to Holland on a weekly basis, which is positive for the league, especially when it comes to finances. The new batch of players making a name in the Eredivisie will know that performing in Holland will see them get opportunities to move to bigger leagues and as the above players show, it’s possible to be a big success away from the Eredivisie.


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Introducing Daryl Janmaat – Newcastle’s new signing

Newcastle United has signed a fourth Dutchman to their ranks with Daryl Janmaat joining from Feyenoord for a reported £5m. But Geordies may be asking, who is Daryl Janmaat, well… Will Burns reveals all.


– Janmaat was born on 22nd July 1989 in a small town called Leidschendam in the south of the Netherlands.

– As a child, he played in the Feyenoord Academy till he was a C-Junior (age 13/14) but in 2007, he was later released after not proving himself sufficiently.

– He was signed up by ADO Den Haag and made his full debut in 2007 against FC Zwolle, he went on to score twice in 25 appearances.

– At the end of that season, Heerenveen signed Janmaat to a four-year deal and he appeared in 84 games for the Friesland club.

– He eventually returned to Rotterdam in the summer of 2012 and starred in 63 games over the last two seasons for Feyenoord.

– At time of writing, he has earned 19 international caps and recently starred in four of the Dutch’s games in the World Cup campaign in Brazil.


Janmaat is an attacking right-back that Toon fans will notice instantly that he is a similar player to the outgoing Mathieu Debuchy. The 24-year-old (25 next week) always has the desire to surge forward, and will look to overlap the winger or cut inside to look to play the best ball possible.

However, unlike most forward thinking full-backs, Janmaat can cover well in defence. His great pace helps him catch the opposition if the possession has been lost, and he has been known to slide in a great recovery tackle to halt tricky playmakers in their stride.

If needed, he is also quite capable in the air to cut out those long balls. He is physically strong, so he should cope well with the hustle and bustle of the Premier League and keep the ball when battling shoulder to shoulder with the opposition’s winger.

Attacking is where the Magpies will see the benefits of Janmaat. Last season for Feyenoord, he created 36 chances for Feyenoord, in which five of them became assists and as well as notching twice in 40 appearances.

A fantastic defender he is not, although he is solid and very reliable and if a partnership is created a cautious right wide man, we could see a successful career on Tyneside.

All statistical information used in this article is courtesy of Martijn Hilhors.


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Feyenoord does not tolerate Newcastle’s Janmaat bid

Martijn Krabbendam of Voetbal International reports that Newcastle United have had an offer of €6 million rejected for right-back target Daryl Janmaat, writes Robbie Dunne.


The Oranje defender has only one year to run on his contract, and is unlikely to sign a new deal, but Newcastle are in desperate need of a replacement at right-back since Mathieu Debuchy left the club for London-based club Arsenal.

As reported by Krabbendam, Janmaat arrived from Heerenveen on a free transfer in 2012 and so any transfer sum receieved would be a profit for the club, who at this point should probably start looking for a replacement.

Newcastle’s alternatives are Serge Aurier of Toulouse – who would cost more than Janmaat – and Ajax defender Ricardo van Rhijn – who just signed a new contract with his current club. In reality, Janmaat is the most realistic option for the club and the 24-year-old is said to be keen on a move, given the fact that it would be a step forward in his development and career.

The bid made by Newcastle is also believed to be an opening bid and so, there is a long way to go in the negotiations over the defender. The Magpies have tested the waters and were rebuffed, however, don’t be surprised if the team’s reach an agreement before the end of the transfer window.


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Newcastle United looking to sign another Dutchman?

While many people associate Newcastle with the French connection that has been establishing itself over a number of years, the growing Dutch influence on the squad is beginning to develop. The Magpies have been linked now with right-back Daryl Janmaat ahead of Mathieu Debuchy’s departure from St.James Park and have already completed a deal for Ajax striker Siem de Jong this summer writes Robbie Dunne.

The Netherlands have cruised to a World Cup semi-final on the back of some solid defensive displays after many didn’t give them a chance in a group that involved a fancied Chile side and the holders Spain. Their path to the semi-final has meant added transfer rumours with Daley Blind, Memphis Depay and Daryl Janmaat at the heart of much of that speculation.

The 24-year-old right back had previously been linked to Manchester United, but the Manchester club are said to be stalling on paying the £7 million asking price considering his contract expires next summer and can be picked up on a free trasnfer at that point. They value him more as a £4 million asset and are unwilling to match the asking price. Napoli were also said to be interested in the Dutchman’s services but Newcastle are believed to be in the driving seat regarding his transfer.

Newcastle, however, have a more pressing need at right-back given the departure of Frenchman Debuchy and will be looking to invest some of the money gained from his departure in a new right back to fill the void. The alternative was another Dutchman in Ricardo van Rhijn, who had also garnered attention from Chelsea and Everton.

Janmaat’s delivery from out wide is on of the aspects of his play that has been highlighted with an eye for a key pass central to his game. He has not featured for the Netherlands since being dropped in place of Paul Verhaegh ahead of the first knockout game against Mexico and has not been able to reestablish himself in Van Gaal’s plans despite playing quite well when given his chances.

Newcastle fans are eager to see players being replaced after being sold with growing pressure on owner Mike Ashley to show more ambition to the fans. Janmaat would certainly be a step in the right direction and could give Newcastle a boost, especially if he returns from Brazil with a World Cup Winners’ medal.


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What can Newcastle fans expect from Siem de Jong?

Late last night, news broke that Ajax had sold another club captain. This time round, it was Siem de Jong that was leaving the Eredivisie for the Premier League and joining Newcastle United writes Will Burns.

Photo credit: NUFC.co.uk

De Jong put pen to paper on a six-year deal and he will give the Magpies the creative attacking midfielder they have been longing for since the departure of Yohan Cabaye last January. He is the elder brother of Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk de Jong, who spent a frustrating six months on loan at St. James Park during the second half of the last season.


– Although, De Jong represents the Dutch national team, he was actually born in Aigle, Switzerland on 28th January 1989.

– After moving to the Netherlands at the age of six, Siem joined local club DZC’68 in city of Doetinchem, before switching to De Graafschap.

– De Jong moved onto the famous Ajax youth set-up in 2005 and competed at every level until he made his first team debut in September 2007, as a substitute against Kozakken Boys in the KNVB Beker.

– After his debut, he went from strength to strength and made 244 appearances in all competitions over seven successful seasons, scoring 78 times.

– Was made club captain by manager Frank de Boer in the summer of 2012, and went on to lead Ajax to the Eredivisie title in 2012/13 and 2013/14.

– He has won four Eredivisie championships in four consecutive years from the 2010/11 campaign as well as lifting one KNVB Beker (2009/10) and one Johan Cruyff Schaal (2013/14).

– De Jong has represented Oranje at every level from under-17 to the senior side, making his full international debut in August 2010 in a friendly against Ukraine.

– As time of writing, Siem has six full caps with two goals. Both were scored in the same match – a 3-0 friendly victory over Indonesia in June 2013.

What will De Jong give to the Geordies…

The 25-year-old is a hard-working, skilful and intelligent footballer that could be a real hit with the Toon Army. Although due to his lack of strength and the pace of the Premier League, maybe not initially, even though I feel he will adapt quickly.

Once Jan Vertonghen packed his bags and left Amsterdam for dizzy heights of the Premier League to sign for Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax boss Frank de Boer handed De Jong the captain’s armband and his leadership skills shone through. He is very vocal on the pitch, directing and encouraging his team-mates as they reflect his tremendous work rate.

He is at home in the attacking midfielder role, but can also fit in as a striker with great composure in the box. In either role, De Jong can make defenders’ lives difficult with his positioning and awareness, finding space with ease, making himself available for the next pass. Once receiving the ball, he is comfortable technically and he has great vision with a varied range of accurate passing.

The Dutchman, wherever he is selected, is a real threat in front of goal and on the edge of the area. The power in his shots can trouble goalkeepers from great distance, which should get St. James Park on its feet. He really can be a game decider.


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Luuk de Jong – Who is Newcastle’s new loanee?


Tonight, Newcastle United announced the loan signing of Dutch forward Luuk de Jong from Borussia Mönchengladbach until the end of the season, with a view to permanency.

The 23-year-old passed his medical today and joins fellow Oranje internationals Tim Krul and Vurnon Anita at the Premier League outfit. The striker is desperate to make an impression for the Magpies after being frozen out at Mönchengladbach.

De Jong joined the Bundesliga side for a reported €15m two years ago, after notching 45 goals in 86 appearances for FC Twente. Unfortunately, after the lack of chances in the first-team, De Jong has found the net just six times in Germany. De Jong did not fare well under Swiss coach Lucien Favre, who restricted him to cameo appearances this term and froze him out of his first team plans.

De Jong last scored in April 2013 in a 1-0 win against Greuther Furth. Reflecting on his time in Germany, De Jong stated: “The coach did not give me the impression he had faith in me. It has been a time to forget. He just did not talk to me that much.”

In an interview with the club official website, De Jong is now looking forward: “It has been a tough season for me so far but I am here to play games and want to be important for the team, and successful with goals and assists.”

“I am really looking forward to playing for Newcastle.”

The Oranje international, who has won seven caps, could make his debut in Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby against bitter North-East rivals Sunderland at St. James Park. De Jong will compete with Loic Remy, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi for a place up front, and try to play himself in contention for the Dutch World Cup squad this summer.


The brother of Ajax playmaker Siem de Jong, Luuk started at De Graafschap and rose up through the ranks for the youth squad. He played one season in the first-team and that was enough to persaude FC Twente to snap him up at the start of the 2009/2010 season.

The notoriously composed De Jong has already, at 23, a history of winning titles and has played in pressure-cooker atmospheres such as the Amsterdam ArenA. Winning the Dutch title under Steve McClaren, he experienced some high-octane and shouldn’t be affected by a passionate but potentially overwhelming grounds of the Premier League.

Past history has shown that the Dutchman is pretty calm in the penalty area. If he regains his confidence, you will not see him rush his shot and he does not stress with defenders breathing down his neck.

An undervalued attribute is his ability to finish with both feet. Although the right foot is his strongest, he has scored a lot of goals with his left. His movement is excellent and quick, and even standing at 6ft 2inches tall, he can use his speed to move quickly to pressurize the opposition. He can hold his own in the air so if Newcastle can find some decent deliveries now that Yohan Cabaye has been sold, De Jong will become an aerial threat. With Remy and Cisse, Alan Pardew’s side lack height and presence up front so the arrival of De Jong should take that burden from Shola Ameobi, who has been a bit-part player for Newcastle this season as a target man.

Even though he is tall, do not except him to be the new Duncan Ferguson as he is not the most aggressive forward you’ll see. In the past, Twente’s and Mönchengladbach’s creative players have provided De Jong with clear-cut chances, not created many of his own, so this is where he may struggle and drift out of the game against the most aggressive of Premier League’s defences.

With a loan deal, it is not much of a gamble for Newcastle, the risk all falls on the Luuk de Jong. This is a chance for him to prove himself once again and either cement a permanent deal in the North-East, or once again impress scouts across Europe that had many clubs vying for his signature 18 months ago.

Whether or not he will be a success is yet to be seen, but with his cool attitude in the box and if the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Vurnon Anita and Moussa Sissoko can create for him, maybe you could see De Jong in the Oranje squad and a black and white shirt for years to come.


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NEWS: Tim Krul returns from injury

Newcastle’s Krul starts against Benfica tomorrow

Dutch international goalkeeper Tim Krul, 25 today, is set for a late birthday present on Thursday as he prepares to make his Newcastle United return at the Estadio da Luz to face Benfica in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.

Krul has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in the closing stages of the round of 32 win against Metalist Kharkiv in February. He made a string of saves in the Ukraine as the Magpies won 1-0 but his replacement, Englishman Rob Elliot, has more than stepped up to the plate over the last few weeks.

Krul, however, is set to return against in Lisbon and he knows that he could have a crucial role to play against the Portuguese league leaders. “They’ve got great players,” the Den Haag-born shot-stopper said. “We’ve had a video analysis this afternoon so we’ve seen the quality of the players and I’m really impressed with the quality. Their attacking qualities are really good so we need to be a solid team tomorrow. Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet – that would be fantastic. I know the left-winger, Ola John, from the national team – he’s a great player – and as we’ve seen this afternoon, they’ve got a few more good players.”

In light of Elliot’s solid displays, Alan Pardew faced a tough call when deciding who would start in goal against Benfica. At the pre-match press conference held at the magnificent stadium, the Newcastle manager hinted that Krul would get the nod.

“I think it would be terrible of me to say on his birthday that he’s definitely not playing,” Pardew smiled. “He’s sitting up here so I think it’s a good indication that Tim will play tomorrow. He’s trained very, very well. I personally think he’s one of the top goalkeepers in the world and therefore this is a great opportunity for him to come back as the number one for Sunday. I don’t mind putting that pressure on him tomorrow. He accepts at this level that if he wants to play in the Dutch national side, that’s the pressure he’s under and I have no doubt that he’ll respond to that.”



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