Newcastle United midfielder Siem de Jong could be out for up to four months with a groin tear suffered in training, according to The Mirror. De Jong made his full debut at St James' Park Saturday in their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, and despite his slow start to the season, was expected to be a creative force in Newcastle's revamped midfield.
According to the Mirror report, the injury was sustained during a routine training session.
The Toon were the worst scoring team in the entire Football League during the last half of the 2013-14 campaign, and they purchased the Ajax captain hoping he could play the 10 role and set up opportunities to score. Now that they are forced to deal with his absence, the goals will obviously have to come from elsewhere.
Alan Pardew does have a few options for replacing de Jong, including switching back to a 4-4-2 formation and allowing Jack Colback and Cheik Tiote, both of whom are recovering from short-term injuries, to control the middle of the park while trying to create on the wings. Rémy Cabella and Moussa Sissoko both have experience playing a more central role, and the smart money is that the latter will have a more focal role. Here's one guess:
Krul | Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Haïdara/Dummett | Tiote, Colback | Cabella, Sissoko, Aarons/Obertan | Rivière
How would you replace de Jong?