Alan Pardew: 'Luuk de Jong must improve to earn permanent deal'

Luuk de Jong of Newcastle swings at and misses the ball during the Barclays Premier league match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on March 15, 2014
© Getty Images
Alan Pardew admits that Luuk de Jong must show signs of improvement to earn a permanent move to Newcastle United.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has admitted that Luuk de Jong must show signs of improvement to secure a permanent move to the club.

De Jong hasn't scored since joining Newcastle on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach in January, but Pardew believes that the forward's struggles could be down to a lack of match fitness following a difficult spell in the Bundesliga earlier in the season.

"It's about getting him back to match sharpness by giving him games and putting more fitness into him on the training ground," Pardew told reporters. "But at the end of this period, he'll have had three and a half months with us and he needs to be pretty close if we are going to sign him.

"This club needs strikers and I'm hoping he can tick a box for us between now and then.

"But I think it's important his all-round game improves from where he is right now."

Newcastle midfielder Vurnon Anita recently suggested that the club would benefit from De Jong completing a permanent move.

Luuk de Jong of Newcastle in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St James' Park on February 1, 2014
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