Siem de Jong's Newcastle United performance should help Rafael Benitez decide his future

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Newcastle United beat Hearts 2-1 on Friday and Siem de Jong was one of the stars of the show at Tynecastle.

Whether Siem de Jong will still be a Newcastle United player at the start of next season is anyone’s guess. However, the events of the last few days have given a far clearer indication of the Dutchman’s future at St. James’ Park.

De Jong started and shone as Newcastle beat Hearts’ 2-1 in a pre-season friendly on Friday and, now, the play-maker’s agent has refuted claims that the Magpies have offered PSV the chance to sign him permanently after a decent loan spell in 2016/17.

Newcastle United's Siem De Jong looks dejected after missing a chance to scoreDe Jong found form again on loan at PSV last season

“That’s absolute nonsense. I really know nothing about it,” Louis Laros told Voetbal International. “The club could have done it behind my back, but that seems strong because I have good contacts with Newcastle.”

Either way, anyone who watched De Jong’s display against Hearts may be a little more receptive to the idea of the former Ajax captain remaining on Tyneside for the upcoming campaign.

Deployed in his favoured number 10 role, his delightful through ball the first of Dwight Gayle’s two goals provided a rare flashback to his supreme performances in Ajax colours.

The 28-year-old, who has been restricted to just 22 league appearances for Newcastle due to a cruel series of injures, linked well with Gayle throughout at Tynecastle and looked every inch the creative midfielder Benitez has spent all summer looking for.

Newcastle United's Siem de Jong in action with Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne

However, you wonder whether the answer could be right under the manager’s nose. Newcastle continue to be linked with a relentless series of big-money signings but a fit and firing De Jong deserves the chance to finally prove his worth.

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