Whilst Manchester City’s move for Kaka has hogged the headlines in recent days, the free-spending Premier League club have avoided putting all their eggs in one basket, agreeing a fee with Hamburg for their Dutch international, Nigel de Jong.
With Dimitar Hamann seeing his long career slowly dwindling to a close and with Elano surplus to requirements at Eastland, 24-year-old de Jong has been targetted to bring addition quality and steal City’s defense capabilities. Primarily a defensive midfielder, de Jong is likely to play alongside former team-mate Vincent Kompany in the City starting XI.
De Jong came through the famed Ajax youth system and since moving to the Bundesliga in 2005/2006 has been a key member of the Hamburg side. He was also a key member of team Oranje at Euro 2008, dovetailing with Orlando Engelaar in the holding midfield positions, that allowed the Dutch forwards the freedom to express themselves so famously during the tournament.
However, de Jong does arrive to Manchester with somewhat of a health warning, having played just nine games this season mainly due to a knee injury that sidelined the Dutchman for over 13 weeks of the season since October. City will be praying de Jong does not become their Kieran Dyer.
According to IMScoutingâ€™s network of scouts in Germany, “De Jong is slight but strong, very athletic and versatile player. His best position is defensive midfielder, and he also feels comfortable as a right wing-back/right back. He reads the game well, and controls the balance in the center. He is an intelligent team player, a true hard worker, a type of player coaches like.”
Video evidence of Nigel de Jong can be seen here.