Date: 26th June 2019 at 11:30am
Written by:

OPINION

Anyone who watched a number of Newcastle United games last season would have seen how effective Salomon Rondon was at leading the line for Rafael Benitez.

A powerhouse of a forward, the Venezuelan international, on loan from West Brom offered much more than brute strength up top, with an impeccable work ethic ensuring that opposition defences rarely had a moment to rest.

Add into the mix good close control with the ball at his feet and great footballing intelligence to bring others into play and you have an impressive all-round player who also happens to know where the back of the net is.

It was no fluke that the 29-year-old was named Newcastle’s player of the season, with 11 Premier League goals crucial to the club’s mid-table finish.

Unfortunately for the Toon Army, it looks as though his award-winning campaign will be the only one he spends at St James’ Park, the Sun reporting that the club will not be pursuing a permanent deal from the Baggies.

The report states that Newcastle’s chiefs are fearful that his impressive season on Tyneside was simply one-off driven by his desire to earn a contract with the Magpies and that he might suffer a slump were he to pen a new deal.

Now, that could well be true – after all, there are surely plenty of players out there motivated by the money – apart from the fact his record at Newcastle is hardly different to his previous seasons in the Premier League.

With West Ham and Watford said to be the frontrunners for his signing, the Newcastle board are looking like amateurs and are surely the laughing stock of the Premier League after getting rid of Benitez.

In his four seasons among the top flight, his record reads as nine, eight, seven and eleven goals, with his goals-per-minute [WhoScored] coming in at 0.3, 0.2, 0.2, 0.3.

As is evident by WhoScored’s detailed analysis of his stats, there was nothing exceptional about his attacking nor his passing performances at St James’ Park compared to his time with West Brom.

The only stat which stands out is his assists, managing seven for Newcastle – the same amount he had managed in three seasons combined at West Brom – but the quality of his teammates, the Baggies suffering relegation in his final campaign at the club, might well have something to do with that.

This was not an outstanding season for Rondon, just another solid campaign for 77-cap international forward – and when he bangs in the goals for another club the Newcastle chiefs will have egg all over their face.