Salomon Rondon has played for Venezuela twice during the International break against Columbia (they lost 2-1) and Panama, and he scored a couple of goals in the second game in their 2-0 win.
But what Rafa usually does in games immediately following the International break is to use some of the players he has been training with over the last couple of weeks.
The players left out are usually those who have been on long journeys during the last two weeks – like Rondon – who has been playing in Venezuela and Panama.
On the positive side, Rondon needed match practice, and he got some in South America over the break.
Rafa has been talking about his two front men – Rondon and Joselu – and he needs to make a choice between the two for Saturday’s game against Arsenal.
Joselu – after scoring a great goal against Tottenham in our first game
Here’s what the manager has said in the Chronicle:
“In the end it’s a difficult decision.”
“I remember when I was at Valencia and four players were called for international duty and they came back.”
“We had a difficult game and I was asking them before the game: “‘Are you fine?’”
“They said yes but if I could make four substitutions after two minutes I would!”
From what we have seen of Rondon so far this season he’s the better player between the two, and he will cost at least three times what we paid for Joselu if we sign him permanently next summer.
But the Spanish striker is a hard worker, and he has a great attitude and has looked a much better player for Newcastle this season.
We expect Joselu to start the game on Saturday with Rondon perhaps coming on in the second half.
It will be an excellent chance for Joselu to shine again and maybe he can get his third goal this season for us.
We need a win – for sure.