Georginio Wijnaldum says he has “no regrets” about signing for Newcastle United ahead of a meeting with the club he almost joined.
Steve McClaren’s side take on Everton at Goodison Park tonight.
I don’t have regrets. This is another challenge for me, a tough challenge, and now I must show that I’m able to fight in this situation.Georginio Wijnaldum
Wijnaldum captained PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title last season.
But his new club are battling at the wrong end of the Premier League.
Wijnaldum, relegation-threatened United’s leading scorer with nine goals, does not regret his choice of club.
Everton, in the bottom half of the table, were also keen to sign Wijnaldum, who cost £14.5million, but the Holland international chose to move to Newcastle last summer.
Asked if he had any regrets, having swapped a title-winning team for a relegation fight, he said: “No, not at all. Of course not.
“It’s a different challenge. I knew at the beginning that it could also be a tough season because last year was also a tough season.”
Wijnaldum, an international team-mate of Newcastle’s Dutch quartet Daryl Janmaat, Tim Krul, Siem de Jong and Vurnon Anita, insists he didn’t make his decision overnight.
The 25-year-old decided to sign for United after discussions with head coach McClaren – who had two spells coaching in Holland – and managing director Lee Charnley.
“I had a good feeling with the choice that I made at the time,” said Wijnaldum, whose side have spent much of the campaign in the bottom three.
“I spoke with Lee Charnley and the manager, and they gave me a good feeling about coming to the club.
“It’s not like it was a choice made over a few hours.
“There were a few days and weeks when I thought about it, and then you make your decision on those feelings.
“I’m still glad I came to Newcastle. The supporters love me, and I get support from everyone at the club.”
United supporters quickly took to Wijnaldum, who scored four of his goals in one game, the 6-2 demolition of Norwich City earlier this season.
And he appreciates the support he has had since he moved to Tyneside.
“I don’t have regrets,” said Wijnaldum.
“This is another challenge for me, a tough challenge, and now I must show that I’m able to fight in this situation.”