The largely ‘out of the blue’ signing of Siem De Jong has been a huge hit with Newcastle fans, many of whom feel he is the much needed replacement for Yohan Cabaye.
However, upon his signing, Alan Pardew hastily remarked that he was pleased to have “signed a striker early” and that he did know what De Jong’s role would be in his side.
Where will he play?
So will De Jong’s role be purely limited to the no.10 slot? The short answer is no. If there is one thing Pardew loves in his players it’s versatility, and De Jong appears to have that in abundance.
Despite his self-proclaimed best position being an attacking midfielder and “a player who comes in the box late as a second striker and helps with the attacking play”, De Jong has experience playing as a striker (more of a false nine, in truth) for Ajax and could find himself up top in an inevitable injury crisis.
Lack of strikers
The likelihood of this inevitable injury crisis is increased by the fact that Newcastle currently have only one senior striker on the books in Papiss Cisse, who is unfortunately suffering from broken bones and confidence at the moment.
It would be unwise to assume anything about Newcasle’s transfer plans after this arrival went completely under the radar but their seeming lack of progress in the striker hunt so far, which includes missing out on both Bafetimbi Gomis and Pierre-Michel Lasogga, can do little else besides unsettle impatient fans.
The search for a striker may be fruitless, but despite capturing De Jong, Newcastle are thought to be chasing other long-term attacking midfield targets such as Remy Cabella and Clement Grenier.
Assuming Newcastle are still prioritising attacking midfielders, surely this means that Pardew intends to use De Jong as a striker? It’s unusual, and I wish I could take my own advice and ignore the transfer rumours, but with Newcastle you learn over the years to expect the unexpected.
At the moment the situation is puzzling and blea and if it stays this way, one can be sure that De Jong will be starting (or should I say wasted) next season at striker.
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