Date: 12th September 2018 at 3:17pm
Written by:

OPINION

Rafa Benitez must look to how Rafael Dudamel had his side play as Newcastle United attacker Salomon Rondon grabbed all the headlines when playing for Venezuela on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old forward struck twice in order to see his nation comfortably beat Panama in a friendly match and it was easy to see that he flourished in Dudamel’s system.

Rondon didn’t even play the full game on Wednesday as the Venezuelan head coach opted to only use him from the bench.

The Magpies player came on in the 56th minute, replacing Christian Santos, and shone from the moment he stepped on the pitch as it was like the whole game was scripted in order for him to do well.

Rondon struck in the 67th minute of the game from close-range after being handed a goal on a platter by teammate¬†Jefferson Savarino before once again reaping the benefits of his manager’s system in the 93rd minute.

The 28-year-old had the ball played just where he would have wanted it by Eduard Bello and calmly blasted the ball home with pinpoint accuracy.

While some may question that Rondon shone in a friendly match or have doubts about the quality of his opponents, his latest international performance highlighted his strengths which can easily be assisted if Benitez issues the attacker’s teammates the right instructions.

The Magpies forward is yet to score in the Premier League, though did score in his brief cameo in the EFL Cup against Nottingham Forest, but it is clear he hasn’t been handed the tools to best aid his quest for goals so far.

Rondon has a golden opportunity to get his first league goal of the campaign for the Magpies as soon as the international break is over as his side are set to face Arsenal.

The Gunners have conceded eight goals in their first four league outings and it’s clear they are defensively vulnerable and can be exposed by an attacker such as Rondon.

However Benitez has to play to his strengths and not use him in the same way he opted to in the defeat to Chelsea earlier in the season as his tactics rendered the Venezuelan redundant.

This all means that the Magpies manager has to bottle the winning formula Dudamel has stumbled upon with Rondon and use it for himself against Arsenal.