Dennis Bergkamp


By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

If Siem de Jong is to be a success in the Barclays Premier League, Newcastle United's new signing will owe much of it to one of the great imports of the English game.

For the last three years, de Jong has been coached by former Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp - who currently holds the role of assistant manager at Dutch giants Ajax.

De Jong revealed that working on a daily basis with the Dutch forward has improved his game no end, and has now set his sights on emulating Bergkamp's famous pirouette goal against the Magpies at St. James' Park in March 2002.

When asked by nufc.co.uk who his childhood hero was, de Jong replied: "He wasn't playing at Newcastle, he was playing for Arsenal, so I'm not sure if I should say it!

"Dennis Bergkamp was my hero growing up. I watched him a lot. He came to the Premier League with Arsenal and was a great player for them.

"The way he played, he was something special, and the goals he scored were great too For me, it was nice to watch him. He was maybe more of a striker than an attacking midfielder but I loved watching him.

"It was great when he joined Ajax as a coach and I found it pretty funny to be working with my hero.

"I learned a lot from him. He was assistant coach but also was the forward trainer, so I picked up some good things from him and it was nice to work with such a great player.

"I remember his goal here at St. James' Park - the spin around the defender. If could score one like that here as well, that would be great!"

De Jong was at a pre-season training camp in Austria when he got the call about Tuesday's switch from Ajax to Tyneside.

The attacking midfielder cannot wait to get started in his new "adventure" but is determined to return home in the near future to say a proper farewell to the teammates and staff he hastily left behind.

"It was pretty tough leaving Ajax," admitted the 25-year-old.

"I couldn't tell all the guys when I left - not even all the staff. I just came straight here to do all my (medical) tests. I hope I will see them again soon to have a real goodbye because it was a strange feeling.

"But the Premier League is probably the biggest league in the world, so to have the opportunity to play in it - and for a big club like Newcastle - is fantastic.

"This is a new adventure for me, the next step for me as a player and as a person, with a new country and new city. It will be different but I hope it will be as good as it was at Ajax."

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