Well, well, well Luuk de Jong…he was a bit of a disaster, wasn’t he?
Fans across the world may know of Luuk de Jong because of his goalscoring expertise at clubs such as FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven, where a potent combination of shocking defending and truly exciting attacking football makes for a forward’s paradise.
Step outside the realm of over 2.5 glory (for all you punters out there), however, and you are faced with a whole new challenge. You know, actual defenders who, believe it or not, are pretty decent in the Premier League – not the farmers who turn up to the Eredivisie week in and week out, anyhow (though, we’re sure some of you may disagree).
The Dutchman signed for Newcastle United on a six-month loan deal in January 2014, but his short stay really, really didn’t go very well. Alan Pardew, the manager at the time, insisted on playing the box predator in… (*checks notes*) midfield. Whether or not the inept Englishman confused his new signing for his brother Siem remains to be seen, but it was clear as day that Luuk really didn’t possess the ability to operate effectively in his newly adopted role.
In his own words, De Jong later said: “although I was excited to go there [Newcaslte], I had to play as a midfielder and, while I’m a team player and happy to do my job, I didn’t feel I could show my qualities.
“I’m a striker and my qualities are in the box.”
Fancy that. A striker, known for his ability in the box, underperforming in midfield. Who’d have thought it?
De Jong returned to his parent club Borussia Monchengladbach with zero goals in 12 appearances and just a single assist to his name. Really not great considering he’s landed himself a cool 28 in 33 league games this term. But, again, maybe not his fault…
Newcastle fans, do you think De Jong should’ve done better? Was it entirely Pardew’s fault that he didn’t perform? Let us know in the comments below!