Rafael Benitez explains importance of 27-year-old in relegation fight

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez seems to rate Siem de Jong highly.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has explained to The Shields Gazette why Siem de Jong will be important for the team in the final weeks of the season.

De Jong has been on the books of Newcastle since 2014, but he has struggled to make an impact due to fitness issues.

The Netherlands international, who can play as an attacking midfielder or as a striker, is now fully fit, and Benitez has underlined his importance to the Magpies’ fight for survival in the Premier League.

“For sure because he is a good player, he has quality and experience,” the Spaniard told The Shields Gazette when asked if De Jong had a key role to play in Newcastle’s relegation fight.

“At this time, you need experience, you need people that can understand the game and they can play the game under pressure.

“That is the most difficult thing, to play the game under pressure. Some players are good players but struggle under pressure, but he will be important for the rest of the season.”

De Jong is a very good and talented player, and he will certainly be looking to make up for lost time.

Newcastle are in real danger of getting relegated to the Championship at the end of the season, and new manager Benitez needs all of his players fit and ready.

The Magpies will return to action on Saturday afternoon when they take on Norwich City away from home at Carrow Road in the Premier League.

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