Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes new signing Siem de Jong could prove one of the best players he’s ever coach, comparing the Dutchman to former England striker Teddy Sheringham.
De Jong completed his £6 million move from Ajax last month, after scoring 78 goals in 244 appearances for the Eredivisie champions since 2007, winning four consecutive league titles from 2010 to 2014.
Captaining the side for those last two triumphs, the 25-year-old has penned a six-year deal on Tyneside and Pardew says his playing style is strikingly similar to Sheringham’s, having managed the Manchester United legend at West Ham United for two seasons.
‘I think he is a terrific player,’ he told Sky Sports News. ‘I have been lucky enough in my career to manage some great players and I think he could be one of the best.
‘I worked with Teddy Sheringham and he reminds me a lot of Teddy in the way he conducts the game, the way he conducts himself, and that will be shown on a matchday’
Newcastle kick off the new Premier League campaign at home to champions Manchester City on Sunday, but de Jong is currently a doubt for that game with a calf injury, while midfielder Cheick Tiote is also dealing with a hamstring problem which could keep him out of the fixture.
Pardew, however, is hopeful that the pair will be contention to play some part, following a summer in which the club have bolstered their squad with no fewer than nine additions.
‘It will be disappointing if they are not [available], but they are running well today,’ he said. ‘So they could be available and make it an easy job for me to pick my strongest team. But we'll have to see.
'We’ve brought in some real quality this year, and with the loss of Cabaye last year, it was important to add some offensive stability to our team and to strengthen it.
‘We’re really pleased with the work we’ve done but the proof is in the pudding and we need to deliver on Sunday at 4 o’clock against the champions but we’re looking forward to it. We’re in a good shape and we had a good pre-season.’