Friday, 16 January 2009

Nigel de Jong

Speculation is growing about Hamburg midfielder Nigel de Jong. The very reliable Ian Ladyman wrote this morning in the Mail that we were close to a £15m move for the Dutchman. Since then Hamburg SV have confirmed that a bid has been made, and that they will talk to de Jong about it. I guess that means it's been accepted, but I'm not sure.

De Jong himself has commented on the proposed move:
"I will now start to consider the issue myself and find out what is best for me, but there are still two weeks to go this month. Nobody does know actually what will happen until then."
As I've written before, a holding midfielder is right up there with a centre forward in terms of our pressing needs. So many times this season we've looked like a team playing 4-1-5 and we can't expect Future Captain Vincent Kompany to support the world on his shoulders twice a week: good as he is, he's only 22 and this is his first season in England.

De Jong sounds like the right man for the job. With Lassana Diarra moving to Real Madrid, and West Ham understandably unwilling to let go of Scott Parker, we've had to look abroad. de Jong plays for Hamburg, the same club as Vincent Kompany, and shouldn't have too hard a time settling in to English football.

He started off at Ajax, where he played for three and a half years. In his last full season, 2004/05, he won their player of the season. In January 2006 he moved to Hamburg, six months after Ajax team mate Rafael van der Vaart made the same transfer.

In his three years in Germany he has made 63 Bundesliga appearances (81 in all competitions) and has started playing for the Dutch national side, for whom he has 30 caps. I saw him play in Euro 2008 but didn't really form much of an opinion about him. I know this sounds lame, but I'm such a big fan of Robben, Sneijder and van Persie that I didn't have eyes for anyone else. If you have seen de Jong play and have an opinion, leave it in the comments.

Obligatory YouTube compilation.


tommytheblue said...

i watch alot of german footy, having lived there...i have been really impressed with nigel. but i was more impressed in the euros along the side of engelaar. He shone in that tournament.

I am excited about having him, it's too much money again, but we obviously don't care about that, so i have given up caring and will embrace it. shame we didn't tie this up this morning.

Superbia in Praelia said...

Is it just me or do we seem to be targeting every 'wonderkid' in the old Football Manager games? I always used to sign Kompany, Jo, De Jong and Bozhinov. Why employ scouts when you have football manager? haha

tommytheblue said...

superbia...hasnt everton this season linked up with footymanager for their vst scouting network. It does have it's merits.

Imscouting is good aswell.