GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM has urged Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren to continue playing him in the pivotal ‘number ten’ role if he is to get the best out of him next season.

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Wijnaldum, who became the third most expensive signing in Magpies history when he completed a £14.5m move from PSV Eindhoven earlier this summer, played in the hole behind lone striker Papiss Cisse in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield United, and is expected to continue in the same position if he is selected for this evening’s pre-season game at York City.

However, with Newcastle’s recruitment team continuing to push for the capture of QPR striker Charlie Austin, there have been suggestions that McClaren will field a more orthodox two-man attacking line-up next season, with Austin playing alongside £12m man Aleksandar Mitrovic if he can be prised from Loftus Road.

That would almost certainly mean Wijnaldum either dropping into a deeper central midfield position of being shuffled to one of the flanks, but the Holland international feels he is most effective when given a freer role on the shoulder of a central striker.

“That is my natural position,” said Wijnaldum, who has scored in Newcastle’s last two friendlies against Portland Timbers and Sheffield United. “In Holland, I spent a bit of time playing as a winger, but that is not my best position.

“If you want to use my qualities the best, then I must play in the midfield in a position where I can make goals because that is a major quality of mine. I can make goals, and I can create chances.

“I can create more chances in the middle of midfield than if I play on the right side of midfield. That’s why I feel more comfortable playing there. Another quality of mine is to run into open spaces and create chances - that’s how I created a lot of chances last year.”

If Newcastle continue to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Wijnaldum is likely to find himself competing with compatriot Siem de Jong for the central attacking-midfield position.

De Jong replaced him from the substitutes’ bench at Bramall Lane and scored within six minutes of being on the field, but McClaren’s selections to date suggest it is Wijnaldum who is the likelier starter when Newcastle kick off their Premier League campaign against Southampton on August 9.

McClaren was well aware of Wijnaldum’s qualities from his time in the Eridivisie with FC Twente, and the former England and Middlesbrough boss championed his new club’s pursuit of the midfielder from the moment he was installed at St James’ Park.

The respect between the duo is mutual, with Wijnaldum claiming McClaren’s experience of working in Holland, and desire to introduce a continental-style passing approach, has made it much easier for him to settle in the North-East.

“It helps me that I am working with a manager who has worked in Holland,” he said. “He works like a lot of trainers in Holland, and he wants to play football.

“In Holland, we get trained to play football in a certain way from the moment we break into the youth teams, and the manager here wants us to play in that same passing way too.

“Almost every team in the Eridivisie tries to play football, and so it has helped me that the manager has come in and said straight away that he wants us to play in the same way. It makes it easier to feel comfortable with the style of play.

“Maybe the style is a little bit more Dutch than English, we will see, but we will definitely be trying to play football. I have heard that in the past, maybe the team was trying to play a lot more long balls so perhaps the new style will take a little bit more getting used to for some of the players who have been here for a long time. But especially for the Dutch players, it is good because it is similar to how we play in Holland.”

Tonight’s game marks Newcastle’s penultimate pre-season outing, and while results have been mixed, Wijnaldum is confident he and his team-mates will be ready come a week on Sunday.

“We have to be,” he said. “We have been training hard to make sure we are ready for the start of the season. Not everything has gone well, but that is what happens in pre-season – you make mistakes and you learn from them.

“As long as you learn from the things that happen in the game, it is okay. We have just under two weeks to work on the things we have not been doing well, and I think we are going to be ready for when the season actually starts.”