Newcastle midfielder Siem de Jong is set to be sidelined for “a number of months” after suffering a thigh injury in training this week.

The Dutchman has only started one game – against Crystal Palace – since joining the Magpies from Ajax in the summer transfer window and is now set to miss out until the New Year with a muscle tear.

After Hatem Ben Arfa was allowed to leave St James’ Park for Hull City last week, the loss of de Jong leaves Alan Pardew with very few options in the “number 10” role required to play his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

A switch to 4-3-3 may be on the cards and a starting berth for teenage winger Rolando Aarons may come sooner than expected. The Jamaica-born winger continued his meteoric progression by scoring on his debut for England’s under-20 side on Friday.

New signings Ayoze Perez and Facundo Ferreyra – who has yet to be included in a Premier League squad – will be hoping they can fill the substantial void left by de Jong’s untimely injury.