Former Newcastle United player Lee Clark has said that it is imperative that the Magpies keep on loan striker Salomon Rondon at the club next season.
The Venezuelan international has made a big impression at St James’ Park during his loan stint from West Bromwich Albion, and Clark believes the 29-year-old would be a crucial summer signing.
“If Rafa isn’t allowed to sign Rondon outright, I dread to think what will happen,” he told the Daily Star. “Newcastle would be back to square one. Is £16million a lot of money for a player of his age? In today’s market, it’s nothing.
“Good strikers are like gold dust and Rondon’s already proved to be a big success at Newcastle. I was fortunate enough to play with Les Ferdinand and Rondon reminds me of him. They’re both swashbuckling centre forwards, who hold the ball up well and provide a focal point for their team-mates.”
Clark is right that the consequences of not signing Rondon could be severe both on the pitch next season and in the Magpies’ attempts to keep manager Rafael Benitez. It’s likely that the Spaniard will make signing Rondon one of the conditions of his staying at the club, such has been the impact of the striker this season. As Clark says, £16million isn’t a lot of money for a top class centre forward in today’s day and age. You need to spend that sort of money to bring in quality players so that fee shouldn’t, in theory, be a problem for Newcastle. Whether Mike Ashley wants to spend that sort of cash on a 29-year-old with little sell-on value remains to be seen, though. As for the Ferdinand comparison, that’s a bit much, isn’t it? Rondon is good player, there’s no doubt about that, but Ferdinand was elite in his day. There are similarities in the style of their games, but in terms of who’s the better striker it’s no competition.