Alan Pardew says he can't wait to see Siem de Jong back in action.
Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew says he cannot wait for summer signing Siem de Jong to return.
The 25-year-old was a regular goalscorer for Ajax before his summer move, and injury has prevented Newcastle fans from taking a real look at him.
He has played just three games this season, but recently returned to first team training. He is not however expected to feature against Manchester United on Boxing Day.
Pardew says he is convinced De Jong is key to Newcastle maximising their potential, but won't rush him.
He told ESPN: "I looked at him with adoring eyes this morning because those games with packed defence, with him and Perez in the same team we'll unlock anyone at any level, so it's important he returns in good health.
"Moussa (Sissoko) can play that number 10 role, and it's such an important role in the Premier League. It's massively important. It's a position that can dictate the game.
"Cabaye used to do it for us. Cabaye dictates the game from number 10, Moussa can impact the game. Siem is more like Cabaye and will help us control games."
Likening him to Cabaye is a great honour, but the way he fails to mention Remy Cabella also speaks volumes about the Frenchman's struggle to make an impact so far.
Newcastle need a lift after a run of defeats spiked their rejuvenated campaign, and De Jong can be the star to provide it.
Pardew just needs to ensure his team can pick up results before his return, for coming back into a confident side rather than a team short on it, can be key to his quick acclimatisation back to the first team.