One team that definitely needed to strengthen this summer was Newcastle United. The Tyneside club relied heavily on the goals of on-loan striker Loic Remy last term, and now the Frenchman has returned to parent club QPR as well as the sale in January of star midfielder Yohan Cabaye to PSG, it was certain Alan Pardew needed reinforcements, specifically in attack.
One acquisition from the summer which will help Newcastle’s lack of goals, albeit not a striker, is the signing of former Ajax captain Siem De Jong. De Jong was bought for a fee believed to be around £6 million. As an attacking midfielder, he’s always positive. Every time he gets the ball his first thought is to go forward, looking for that pass to help create a goal, something Newcastle need after Yohan Cabaye left, and while his goalscoring record isn’t world class, it is decent for an attacking midfielder, with 7 in 19 in the Dutch Eridivisie for Ajax last season. Some Manchester City fans may remember his dazzling performances in the UEFA Champions League 2 seasons ago, which saw him score 3 goals against the Premier League champions.
Perhaps this signing will also help Luuk De Jong to settle should they choose to buy him from Borussia Monchengladbach, despite a difficult loan spell at the Magpies last season. I used the comparison matrix on www.squawka.com to compare Siem’s stats from last season with Moussa Sissoko, another player that could be important for Newcastle next season. While it shows that Sissoko’s stats are much better than De Jong’s, it’s worth noting that Sissoko played nearly twice as many games as De Jong, which could contribute to the fact Sissoko created 64 more chances for his team mates than Siem De Jong did. But combining their creativity and goals, it could be a massive step for Newcastle United, and maybe they can realise the dream of the Dutchman of being in the Champions League spots come the end of the 2014/15 season.
I’ve also included a video of Siem De Jong’s best bits as an Ajax player. However, it is important that Pardew’s summer spending does not stop here. It’s vital he strengthens the attack with a striker, perhaps trying to re-sign Loic Remy or taking a gamble on Luuk De Jong, maybe even an attempt to get Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku? I think the midfield could do with another addition, Jack Colback was a good signing but isn’t exactly going to replace Cabaye. Maybe Chilean Charles Aranguiz, who plays for Brazilian side Internacional, could be an option and the Magpies have also been linked with Montpellier’s Remy Cabella. As for the defence they have many different options at full-back, but with Mathieu Debuchy set to leave for Arsenal, they could try to get Ivorian right-back Serge Aurier from Toulouse. With the right signings and tactics used by Pardew, Newcastle could become a real force again in the Premier League and aim for a Champions League place.