De Jong eyes two-year plan
Nigel de Jong has revealed he expects his new club Manchester City to reach their full potential in two years' time. The Dutchman joined the Eastlands club from German side Hamburg in the January transfer window as just one of a number of big-money signings this season. The 24-year-old midfielder believes his move to the Premier League will allow him to develop his game better after establishing himself as a regular starter under manager Mark Hughes. "Everyone wants to play in a top team, but would you get a guaranteed starting place? At City I play every week in the best league in Europe," said De Jong. "I see this as a two-year project. Then I'll only be 26-years-old, at the top of my abilities, and I could raise my profile for two seasons." Good Terms City face Hamburg, managed by former Tottenham boss Martin Jol, in the Uefa Cup quarter-finals next month, and De Jong insists he left the club on good terms. "The contract with the president and the technical director remained good," he said. "I left in an amicable way and that's how I wanted it - that way, I can always return if I don't succeed in England. "That won't happen, by the way. I will make it - I'm convinced of that," he added. The former Ajax player is currently on international duty and stated that he believes promising young players in Holland cannot reach their full potential if they stay in Dutch football too long. He said: "Look who makes up the Oranje team now - guys like (Ryan) Babel, (Wesley) Sneijder and (Rafael) Van der Vaart. "They're all guys who people said left Ajax too soon. The Eredivisie is a good breeding ground, which you should leave around your 21st birthday to develop abroad."
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