Steve McClaren discusses playing Georginio Wijnaldum and Siem de Jong together

Newcastle have two top class midfielders in Georginio Wijnaldum and Siem de Jong.

Steve McClaren has told the Chronicle that he has no issues with playing Wijnaldum and de Jong in the same team, despite fears they are too similar to be compatible.

He said: “They (Wijnaldum and De Jong) are two quality players. People are probably are wondering, ‘Can they play in the same team?’ I think you saw in the last 20 minutes against Gladbach that yes they can.

“Gini can play in any position around the midfield area. Sometimes we say our system does not really matter. We are going to look at other systems too. It is our style of play to bed in, introduce and really become good at.”

The Magpies signed Wijnaldum this summer, and considering de Jong’s poor campaign last term, he is like a new signing heading into 2015/16.

He spent so much of the season out injured, that he will finally settle into the team this term, and should benefit from playing under McClaren - who likes technically gifted players such as the Dutchman.

The issue many sense from Newcastle is that de Jong and Wijnaldum cannot play together in the midfielder, but McClaren does not sense there is any issue.

And when assessing their strengths, it appears as if the head coach is correct.

Wijnaldum played as one of three midfielders for PSV last term, always the attacking man in a 4-3-3 system, and his best play is when running into the opposition box. However, his best skills are utilised with his physical strengths, and McClaren is set to use him as one of the double-pivot in a 4-2-3-1.

This means he will be the more attacking player, likely playing alongside a shielding player, such as Jack Colback.

De Jong, however, will play further ahead, showcasing his creative skills as a number 10. the former Ajax man is far more precise and thought out than Wijnaldum, and his creative talents will be wasted anywhere else on the field of play.

The duo have similar skill sets, but with different abilities which mean they will prosper in different roles.

And McClaren would be wise to include both in his first-team, as Newcastle will be a much better team if WIjnaldum and de Jong are lining up alongside one another for the Magpies.

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