McClaren: De Jong 'a big asset' to Newcastle
Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren expects Siem de Jong to be "a big asset" to the team despite an injury-plagued start to his time at the club.
Netherlands international De Jong made just five appearances in his first season on Tyneside following a transfer from Ajax in July last year.
A thigh injury sustained last September initially sidelined the attacking midfielder before he then suffered a collapsed lung for the second time in his career.
De Jong missed Saturday's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Swansea City due to a shin problem. However, McClaren – already familiar with De Jong from his two spells as coach of Ajax's domestic rivals Twente – believes the 26-year-old will eventually come good.
McClaren said: "He [De Jong] can assist and he can score, and that's a big weapon to have, those two things. He's going to be a big asset for us.
"I remember when he came here, I remember thinking what a good signing that was. He's yet to light the place up, but that's purely because of injuries. He's just building up to get that chance.
"I think Siem has found that year out catching up with him, shall we say. He's going to take a while getting to the right tempo and the right level, but we can see it every day, that he's improving, getting better, and he can see that, too."