De Jong is back from a long-term injury, and it might have come at the perfect time for the Magpies.
De Jong played 16 minutes of competitive action for the Magpies as they lost 3-2 to Swansea, and it was only the fourth appearance he has made for Newcastle this term.
Two Premier League games at the beginning of the season, and a League Cup tie, were all the Dutch international had managed prior to a thigh injury, and then the collapsed lung he suffered upon his recovery from the first injury.
He may have returned with the club in the midst of a defeat crisis, and he could not help the club prevent a seventh straight loss for the first time since 1977, but his attacking played added a vigour to Newcastle which has been lacking for such a long time.
His goal showed the undeniable quality in his positioning and finishing, and he will be disappointed to be playing front of a defence as poor as Newcastle’s.
Having returned to action and completed such a promising display, it would come as no surprise to see de Jong taking a key part in John Carver’s side for the rest of the season.
The Magpies need to start winning games if they are to remain in the top flight, and de Jong adds an extra goal threat to the side on top of the one brought by Ayoze Perez. However, he also brings a creative diligence that few in the Newcastle side can match, and his absence for much of the season can quite heavily be linked with the Magpies’ on-pitch failings.
He has now proven his fitness and ability in a Newcastle shirt, and Carver should look to call upon the Dutchman as much as possible in the last weeks of the season.
He could just prove the difference in Newcastle remaining in the top flight past the end of this campaign.