For Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon it must have been a frustrating first half of the season. Starved of service and often isolated up top, the West Bromwich Albion loanee has had to work hard to make his Magpies tenure a success.
He has very much done that, though, and now his season could be about to kick into overdrive. That’s because club record signing Miguel Almiron is widely expected to make his much-anticipated debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.
The arrival of the Paraguayan international is huge for Rondon. There has been a distinct lack of creativity from Newcastle’s wingers this campaign, with Kenedy, Christian Atsu and the now-departed Jacob Murphy all struggling to make hay at St James’ Park.
That has left Rondon ploughing a lonely furrow up front. Not any more, though. The Venezuelan will soon be supplied with more meaningful ammunition by his fellow South American, and the link-up between the two is enough to get Rondon – and the club’s supporters – salivating.
By now we’ve all seen the highlight packages wherein Almiron looks like a genuine world-beater. It will no doubt take time for him to get to the level he was at in the MLS. However, it’s clear that he provides something the Magpies have desperately been missing.
Not only can he take defenders on and beat them, he’s actually willing to do so, unlike the aforementioned Murphy. Plus, its highly unlikely that he will prove to be more inconsistent than Kenedy or Atsu.
His dead ball ability could also be key. Not just from scoring free kicks, but from putting them directly onto the head of Rondon. The 29-year-old is formidable in the air and Almiron seems like he could make the most of that ability.
All in all, the Paraguayan’s signing is exactly what Rondon needed to turn what’s been a decent season for him personally into a great one. He has overachieved with blunt tools so far this term, now let’s see what he can do with someone as deadly as Almiron supplying him.