Cheick Tiote has told Newcastle United they are getting more than just a good goalscorer in Luuk de Jong.
The Netherlands international made his debut in Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby after joining on loan from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Tiote and de Jong made their name at FC Twente, winning the Dutch title in 2010. As well as scoring 39 goals in 76 appearances for the Entschede club, the striker impressed Tiote with his all-round game.
United’s vice-captain said: “I think he’s a goalscorer and he can hold the ball up front.
“He’s a good player and I hope he’ll be there a lot because I think we need good players to score goals.
“At the moment we’re not scoring too many goals so I hope he will start scoring for us.”
Although there are hopes Yoan Gouffran could return from injury for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Chelsea, it is de Jong’s goals the Magpies are most in need of at present.
De Jong was unable to reproduce his prolific Twente form in Germany, and is still looking for his first goal this season.
With Loic Remy suspended, Newcastle’s derby starting 11 had a combined five leagues goals between them this season. Gouffran alone has six.
Tiote is a doubt to face Jose Mourinho’s side after reportedly picking up an injury in training yesterday, but he talked up the Magpies’ chances of victory against a Chelsea team on a high after this week becoming the first English team to win at Manchester City this season.
Newcastle beat Chelsea in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park.
Tiote, said to be a summer transfer target for Manchester United, added: “It’s going to be hard but I think we have a chance.
“We have good players in the squad so if we do the right things we have a chance to win.
“It’s going to be tough because Chelsea are a good, good, good, good team, but if we do the right things we have a chance to win.”
Remy Cabella says there is no agreement to join Newcastle in the summer, but has indicated were he to move to Tyneside it would be with a view to using the Magpies as a “springboard” to bigger things.
Newcastle are understood to have targeted the Montpellier playmaker as Yohan Cabaye’s long-term replacement, but the French club were reluctant to sell in the middle of a relegation battle and have apparently advised him against the move altogether.
Cabella (pictured left) told a French radio station: “I made a very good decision to stay at Montpellier.
“I have objectives and I hope to fulfil them.
“I’m pleased there were clubs taking an interest in me, but the most important thing was here with Montpellier.
“I didn’t think about leaving as I was concentrating 100% on my team. Our coach (Rolland Courbis) says I should aim to sign for a club that’s more important than Newcastle – but Newcastle could be a good springboard.
“If you take Yohan Cabaye for example, he went over there and established himself, then he has come back to PSG.
“You should always look for that club which suits you best, one where the coach wants you.
“That’s where I’ll go and we’ll see in two months’ time – in the meantime it’s up to me to prove myself on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, James Tavernier has been nominated for the League One Player of the Month award.
On loan at Rotherham United with Haris Vuckic until the end of the season, defender Tavernier is on a four-man shortlist for the award.
Peterborough United’s Nicky Ajose, Scott Cuthbert of Leyton Orient and Brentford’s Marcello Trotta are the other contenders.