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In Profile: Newcastle United's new signing Georginio Wijnaldum

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Newcastle United's new £14.4m signing Georginio Wijnaldum.

Following much drawn-out speculation, Newcastle United have finally landed PSV Eindhoven ace Georginio Wijnaldum on a five-year deal.

The 24-year-old is thought to have signed for a sum in the region of £14.4m, making him the Magpies' third most expensive player.

Having been linked with as many as four Premier League clubs, the Netherlands international opted for St James' Park where he will hope to continue his development.

Here, Sports Mole looks at what Wijnaldum will add to Newcastle's starting lineup next season as they aim to improve on a hugely disappointing campaign last time out.

Georginio Wijnaldum of the Netherlands celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Third Place Playoff on July 12, 2014© Getty Images


The Rotterdam-born star was determined to succeed right from his early years, turning down the chance to pack his bags for Amsterdam with his family and instead choosing to remain in the western city. It was there, during the remainder of his childhood, that he developed a strong love for football after initially harbouring hopes of being a gymnast.

Given a chance to impress at Sparta Rotterdam, Wijnaldum tasted success by winning two championship titles in his first two campaigns in the club's youth ranks. Predictably, interest was shown in the youngster by the likes of Ajax and future club Feyenoord, but he again remained firm and opted to stay at the side where it all began.

"I didn't watch football on TV and I didn't know any of the first team players of Sparta or any of the top clubs," he would later reveal. "I only knew the real famous players of Oranje, so the offers didn't impress me much. I had a good time at Sparta, I wanted to stay." Stay he did, until 2004 when a fresh offer was made by fellow Rotterdam outfit Feyenoord.

Wijnaldum felt that, by making a step up in his development, he would be given the chance to make waves at senior level in the coming seasons. Three years later, aged just 16, the Dutchman was handed his debut against FC Groningen. Manager at the time Erwin Koeman, now working alongside brother Ronald at Southampton, played a key part in the future star's rise from youth ranks to senior level by inviting him along to train with the first team prior to that first appearance.

PSV's Georgino Wijnaldum in action during the match against SV Zulte Waregem on July 30, 2013© AFP


After becoming the youngest senior player in the Eredivisie outfit's history, the pressure really was on Wijnaldum to succeed. A first goal against Heracles followed later that year to help settle the nerves, while European experience was to come in the UEFA Cup.

Largely an unused squad player, it was not until in 2008-09 under the watch of Leon Vlemmings that he truly came to the forefront, starting 31 games in the top flight to help his side to a seventh-place finish.

It was towards the end of that term that Wijnaldum put pen to paper on a fresh deal at De Kuip, where he would play for two more full seasons before moving on to pastures new.

Having played a part in five goals throughout the 2009-10 season, the blossoming star nearly matched that tally in one game alone the following campaign - his last as a Feyenoord player. Groningen were the unlucky victims, as the Netherlands Under-21s ace bagged two goals from open play and two more from the penalty spot.

PSV Eindhoven's Georginio Wijnaldum (R) fights for the ball with Zenit Saint Petersburg's Javi Garcia (L) on February 19, 2015© Getty Images

PSV Eindhoven

Fourteen goals in all that campaign, Wijnaldum was now very much on top of his game and a move to the Premier League with Liverpool first surfaced. Nothing came of that, but he did opt to join PSV in a deal worth around £3m in 2011.

From his attacking midfield position, the goal tally continued to tick along nicely in a year that ended with PSV finishing below the team Wijnaldum had left in the league table.

Another promising campaign followed, scoring 14 goals in 14 starts, but a largely disappointing 2012-13 appeared to stop the Rotterdam native in his tracks.

A back injury restricted him to just nine league starts, while the Netherlands also suffered a disappointing semi-final defeat to Italy earlier that term in the UEFA U21 Championships.

Czech Republic's Lukas Vacha (L) and Vladimir Darida (R) and Netherland's midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum vie for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2016 Group A match on September 9, 2014© Getty Images

Newcastle United

Now fully fit and raring to go, Wijnaldum starred for Eindhoven last time out by captaining Boeren to a first league crown in seven years. Goals and assists aplenty, interest was inevitably going to surface this summer, as the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Roma and Sunderland each reportedly made early contact.

It was Newcastle, though, who won the race for the 13-time capped Dutch international's signature, placing him behind only Michael Owen and Alan Shearer in the club's list of record signings.

Under-fire owner Mike Ashley, perhaps influenced by the heavy backlash against him at the back end of last season, bowed to fan pressure by paying out the biggest single amount for a player in his eight-year reign of the Magpies.

Wijnaldum, a scorer for his country at last summer's World Cup, will now join compatriot and former teammate Memphis Depay in the English top flight.

Boss Steve McClaren could barely contain his excitement when the arrival was finally confirmed on Saturday morning, and if the past few seasons are anything to go by then he, and indeed the Toon Army as a whole, can look forward to seeing the 24-year-old develop his career further in the North-East come August.

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Georginio Wijnaldum of the Netherlands celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Third Place Playoff on July 12, 2014
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