The Dutchman is keen to impress after his nightmare debut campaign.
De Jong’s first season on Tyneside was ravaged by injuries and he managed just five appearances in all. His return to fitness this summer has coincided with the arrival of the former FC Twente boss, however, and the Dutch connection could be a match made in heaven.
“I’ve had several conversations with the manager… He is very satisfied with me,” said de Jong.
“He said that he wants to follow the Dutch School (of playing). That means that we do not just play long ball, only if we have to.”
The Magpies striker also welcomed the arrival of compatriot Georginio Wijnaldum and lauded the new-found quality of the team, adding: “I am very happy with the arrival of Wijnaldum and see him not so much as a competitor. I can play with him. We can use all of our good players. We now have a strong team and I have faith in us having a good season.”
Newcastle’s start to the season has been slow, with no wins yet on the board, but signs of a developing philosophy have been evident and the horror show of last season is now a distant memory.
Questions remain over the depth of the Magpies squad, but there can be no doubting the quality of their first-team squad and exciting times lie ahead if McClaren can get his side replicating the Dutch footballing style of old.