The midfielder insists he has no regrets leaving Ajax.
"There were no regrets about making the move. I know what I can do and there was also a period at Ajax when I was not in the team under a new coach. Back then, I kept working hard and believing in myself and eventually I got back in the team and played well enough to earn a move here.
"That is football - ups and downs. That was a down but it made me more determined to show what I can do. And it was the same last season here.
"This is an exciting football team with Moussa, Yohan, Hatem and Cheick as well. We have moved to another level this season. The ambition is to try to get back into Europe.
"It is still the highest thing you can achieve with your club and it is also good for Newcastle that other countries see what Newcastle is capable of. I think that is what we have to do."