Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren is adamant that Siem de Jong will play a big part in their season following a year in which he struggled with injuries, ESPN reports.
De Jong arrived from Ajax last summer in a £6million deal and was expected to score and provide the goals for the Magpies.
However, the Netherlands international only managed to make five appearances in the entire campaign, suffering first from a serious thigh injury before being unable to return due to a collapsed lung.
And although he made a 20 minute cameo during their 2-2 draw against Southampton on the opening weekend, he missed the 2-0 loss to Swansea with a shin problem.
However, McClaren believes that when fit, De Jong is one of the best players in the squad and is hoping to have him available for the upcoming campaign.
He said: “He can assist and he can score, and that’s a big weapon to have, those two things. He’s going to be a big asset for us.
“I remember when he came here, I remember thinking what a good signing that was. He’s yet to light the place up, but that’s purely because of injuries. He’s just building up to get that chance.
“I think Siem has found that year out catching up with him, shall we say. He’s going to take a while getting to the right tempo and the right level, but we can see it every day, that he’s improving, getting better, and he can see that, too.”
The Toon Army have the tough task of travelling to Old Trafford to face an in-form Manchester United side that have just come off a 3-1 win over Club Brugge.