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De Jong eager for challenge after Newcastle transfer

ESPN staff
July 2, 2014 « Ramires: Brazil are no cry-babies | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Former Ajax forward De Jong follows his brother to Tyneside © Getty Images
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Siem de Jong said the chance to play in the Premier League convinced him to join Newcastle United after the club signed him on a six-year deal from Dutch champions Ajax.

The Netherlands international moves to Tyneside for an undisclosed fee after coming through Ajax's famous youth system. He won four Eredivisie titles after making his debut in 2007, taking the club captaincy in 2012.

De Jong's younger brother Luuk struggled to make an impact for Newcastle after signing on loan in January, but De Jong senior is relishing the challenge of the Premier League.

"It is great to have signed for Newcastle," De Jong said. "It is a big club which my brother told me all about, so I already feel good here.

"I had been at Ajax a long time and wanted a new challenge in a new environment and a new country.

"Coming to Newcastle is a great opportunity and the chance to play for a club like this in the Premier League was one I could not turn down.

"I am looking forward to starting training and meeting my new team-mates and hopefully we can have a successful season."

De Jong joins Tenerife striker Ayoze Perez and Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback in joining Newcastle this summer as manager Alan Pardew looks to win over the fans following what was seen by many as a disappointing campaign last term.

"We are absolutely overjoyed to bring Siem to the club because he will give us intelligence in the final third and create goalscoring situations, which we lacked towards the end of last season," Pardew said.

"It is a big signing for this club. Siem brings massive experience from Ajax. I think our fans are going to enjoy the way he plays and I cannot wait to start working with him."

De Jong made almost 250 times for Ajax, scoring 78 goals, and has scored twice in six appearances for his country.

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