De Jong eyes Premier future, despite Newcastle flop

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LUUK de Jong hasn’t given up hope of returning to the Premier League – despite his disappointing loan spell at Newcastle United.

And the Dutch striker believes he is still suited to English football, despite failing to score in 12 appearances for the Magpies after joining on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach in January.

That extended his barren spell in front of goal to more than a year, as he did not score in 13 substitute appearances for the German side in the first half of last season.

The 23-year-old had been highly-rated before moving to Monchengladbach in 2012 for £12.6m.

Newcastle had been interested in the striker then, but he ultimately opted to join the Bundesliga club, who had just qualified for the Champions League.

However, it did not work out for de Jong in Germany, as he scored just six league goals in his first season before being loaned to Newcastle midway through last term.

The Dutchman failed to make a real impact for Alan Pardew’s side, whose form dropped drastically after January, leading to a 10th-placed finish in the Premier League.

However, de Jong enjoyed his time in England, and welcomed playing in the No10 role he was often deployed in by Pardew.

He said: “Playing in the Premier League is different than in Germany, but I like this way of playing.

“It’s more physical, but I like it, especially when I play behind the striker.

“I like being in little pockets behind the striker.

“I try to give the striker chances, and I try to make one-twos with the striker or score myself.

“I also want to play as a striker, but when I play as a 10, I also do my job.”

Newcastle confirmed on Friday that they wouldn’t be signing De Jong on a permanent deal, despite the fact a fee had been agreed with Monchengladbach.

And he saw another avenue closed at the weekend when Derby lost their Championship play-off final against Queens Park Rangers.

De Jong’s best form came under Rams boss Steve McClaren at Twente in the 2011-12 season, when the striker scored 25 goals in the Eredivisie, and his former manager was expected to make a move for him if Derby had returned to the Premier League.

In January, McClaren said: “Luuk is a very good player who will give his best.

“He is talented and he loves scoring goals, so I think he will do well (in England).

“It just didn’t work out for him (in Germany), but that’s not to say it won’t work for him in England because his style is more suited to English football.”