Few could disagree - but few know just how important the Dutchman would have been to Newcastle's plans more than Pardew himself.
The Crystal Palace coach signed De Jong for £6 million when in charge of Newcastle last summer, only for the 26-year-old forward to be ruled out for several months with a knee injury.
And, now, De Jong has suffered a recurrence of the collapsed lung that plagued him last year, ruling him out for another extended period (said to be eight weeks).
Pardew, meanwhile, has expressed his sympathy for Newcastle, an emotion that would have been replaced by frustration were he still in charge at St James' Park.
“They’ve been unlucky – they’ve had some bad injuries. Siem de Jong was a real body blow to them," the Crystal Palace boss told reporters.
“We missed him when I was manager. We bought him to be that link player. It’s been a massive blow to Newcastle. They still have some very, very good players.”
Newcastle are not in action this weekend after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Leicester City, while Pardew's Crystal Palace side host Liverpool on Saturday evening in the fifth round of the competition.