De Jong’s attitude is fantastic – Newcastle boss McClaren on why he wants Dutchman to stay long-term

Siem de Jong
Siem de Jong
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Siem de Jong has been told that his future lies at Newcastle United.

The forward has found his opportunities limited so far this season.

De Jong is yet to start a Premier League game under Steve McClaren.

And the 26-year-old, signed from Ajax last year, has talked about a return to Holland being an “option” should he fail to establish himself at St James’s Park over the coming months.

“If things don’t go my way, a return to Holland is certainly an option,” said de Jong.

In the same interview, de Jong also said that United wanted to keep him.

Head coach McClaren – who first came across the Holland international during his time in charge of Dutch side Twente – feels de Jong is still adjusting to the demands of the Premier League, having missed most of last season through injury.

And he believes de Jong will prove to be an important player this season.

“We speak regularly,” said McClaren, whose side climbed out of the Premier League’s relegation zone at the weekend thanks to a 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

“Siem’s one of those players who’s adjusting to the Premier League.

“He didn’t have that adjustment last year, so he’s adjusting this year. He’s been a little bit unlucky.

“He’s a vital part of the squad, and he’s someone we think will eventually get in the team. He’s an impact player.

“We want him to come on and win a game for us. He can keep possession. He’s that good a player.

“I think he’s suffering from being a year out.

“I think his attitude is fantastic. We don’t want to let him go anywhere. We see him as a big player.”

De Jong had long spells out last season through a a thigh tear and a collapsed lung.

In total, he made just five appearances – and scored one goal – in his first campaign on Tyneside.

But he is fully fit this season and keen to make an impression.

De Jong’s younger brother Luuk spent the season half of the 2013/14 season on loan at St James’s Park from German club Borussia Monchengladbach, where he had found himself on the fringes following his big-money move from Twente.

However, his move to St James’s Park didn’t work out either, and the striker returned to Holland to join PSV Eindhoven last year.

De Jong is mindful of the experience of his sibling, who is back among the goals in the Eredivisie – and back in the international fold.

But he still feels he can succeed in English football’s top flight.

“He (Luuk) obviously didn’t set a great example,” said de Jong, who took his goal tally for the club to two with a strike in August’s 4-1 Capital One Cup win over Northampton Town.

“It crosses my mind at times to return to the Netherlands, but I will do my utmost and give my best to succeed here.

“And club officials have intimated they want me to stay.”

De Jong could be handed a chance sooner rather than later with Jack Colback sidelined until next month and Cheick Tiote a booking away from a one-game ban.

Should he lose Tiote to suspension, McClaren will be forced to reshuffle his team, which takes on Leicester City at St James’s Park when the Premier League resumes on November 21.