Salomon Rondon has scored 9 goals in the Premier League and has assisted in five more Premier League goals – so he’s been involved in about half of Newcastle’s 31 goals.
That’s the fourth worst goals scored in the Premier League this season beating only the bottom three clubs – second-bottom Fulham have 30 goals and Cardiff have 28.
Rondon missed some chances on Saturday and Newcastle suffered as we went down to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace.
That’s a game we expected Newcastle to win and almost reach safety.
But it’s looking more and more like Mike Ashley is unwilling to pay the £16.5M fee it will cost Newcastle for Rondon – if West Brom are not promoted.
If they are promoted it will cost Ashley £20M but Rondon will be 30 in September, and the owner doesn’t like paying big money for players who have little sell-on value.
He doesn’t like paying big money for players who do have sell-on value.
This is what Benitez said about Rondon during his press conference yesterday:
“I am not talking about that because we don’t know what is going on yet,”
“If you are asking me about my future, I am not asking about this or that. The first thing is to be sure that we are safe and, after, we can talk about everything. We have plenty of time.”
“I told you before he has to score goals, that is good for him. As a player, you go there on the pitch and you perform; that is the best thing you can do for the future.”
“He has to do more. If he scores three goals against Leicester, I will be happy.”
“Then you will say: ‘He has been involved in 55% of the goals.’ That is much better. We need anyone [we can] making the difference.
“If he can make the difference, everyone will be happy. After, if he scores three goals against Leicester and after you ask me about his future, fine.”
As we had mentioned yesterday, it looks like Rafa has asked Ashley to sign Rondon permanently in the summer and some of the players he wants could also be in their late 20s.
The manager has talked this season about the lack of maturity in the side and that we don’t do the right things at times during the games.
This is a question of Rafa’s football sense and massive experience up against Mike Ashley’s vision for the club – which is all financially based.
The owner wants Newcastle to make money – and doesn’t seem to care much about the team put out on the field – as long as we are not relegated.
And Ashley is sitting on his hands at the moment because he doesn’t want to buy Rondon for big money – but hasn’t told Rafa yet.
Rafa wants Newcastle to challenge for trophies.
And that difference between Rafa’s vision and Ashley’s alternative vision for the club could be far too vast to reach an agreement.
That’s the big danger for the club at the moment.