Luuk de Jong


By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Luuk de Jong has revealed his frustration that Newcastle United fans didn't see the best of him during a six-month loan spell on Tyneside.

The Dutch international striker arrived at St. James' Park in January on a temporary deal from Borussia Monchengladbach, boasting an impressive record of a goal every 2.6 games from his career to that point.

However, de Jong failed to find the back of the net in 12 Magpies appearances and the option to turn his loan into a permanent switch was not taken up by United at the end of the season.

In his defence, the 23-year-old had hardly played in the first half of the season for Monchengladbach and came to a Newcastle side whose form was just starting to desert them.

But de Jong wasn't interested in excuses and gave nufc.co.uk an honest assessment of his frustrating time in the North-East.

"It hurts that I didn't score, yes," he admitted.

"Of course I want to score goals - I'm a striker and it's what I've done at every other club I have played for.

"I didn't score goals, and that's what I should do as a striker, so I'm not happy with that.

"I played a lot of my games in the number ten role, behind the striker, and had to do a lot of defensive work as well, so it's then not always easy to get straight back up front. But I had some opportunities but didn't score and that is what I will be judged on."

Despite his unsuccessful spell in the black and white stripes, de Jong explained he loved the Club and everything Newcastle had to offer.

"I really enjoyed my time here," he said.

"I liked the Club, the people who work here, the fans and the city. It is a great place to play football.

"It was difficult for me to come to Newcastle, having not played for a long time and the team not doing too well. You always hope it is going to be good but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

"We had a couple of good results - like away at Hull - but when you get on the sort of (losing) run that we were, it's not always to get out of.

"I came from another country, having not played for half-a-year, and I just wanted to play football again.

"It's what I love to do and hopefully I can continue to do that next season."