Salomon Rondon has just completed his best ever goalscoring season in the Premier League on loan at Newcastle, and that’s due to the way Rafa has played him in the Newcastle side.
Rafa has used him as the lone striker up front who can hold the ball up while other forwards move quickly into position to create a quick counter-attack.
Salomon has been a master at that this season.
He has 11 goals in the Premier League and one in the League Cup for 12 total goals this season.
We could have signed him for £16,5M in the summer but as usual Mike Ashley dragged his feet on a 29-year-old – too old for that kind of money.
Normal clubs would have snapped him up as a bargain buy in July, but we both hesitated and waited.
Now after an excellent season at Newcastle bigger clubs than Newcastle – like Wolves (is that really the case now?) – are ready to pay the going price for the Venezuelan striker this summer and Mike Ashley will not.
Wolves tried to break his loan deal in January to sign him permanently.
Salomon Rondon – after scoring 11th PL goal on Sunday
This type of foot-dragging by the owner is a massive problem for manager Rafa Benitez as he tries to build a top Newcastle side with a frugal owner and not much money available.
The owner continues to think small (how can we save money?) while owning Newcastle – the polar opposite of how our world-class manager Rafa Benitez thinks.
He wants to build a team that can win the Champions League – let’s be clear about that.
This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle today about the Rondon situation:
“His 10 goals was his best score mark in the Premier League and against Fulham he scored another one,”
“He is really happy and a key player for us. The way that he was playing for us, linking with other players and scoring goals, I think he has been a very important player for us.”
“It’s something everyone can see. Maybe everyone can see it because he was made player of the year.”
“I think he wants to stay – the problem is that, because he was so good, the more people have been watching him, so we have to wait.”
Rondon will return to West Brom this week, and we’ll know on Thursday night if West Brom have made it through to the Championship playoff final.
They play at home to Aston Villa in the second leg of their playoff semi-final game, and they are 2-1 behind with Dwight Gayle banned for the game and also the playoff final – if they make it through.
Dwight got sent off for a second yellow card with two minutes to play in the first leg at Villa Park
Chances are that Leeds will win the tie,
That would make it cheaper (if not easier) for Newcastle to sign Rondon for around £16,5M this summer – if only Ashley will pay that amount.
When is somebody going to tell Mr. Ashley he should get out of the football club ownership business because he’s not cut out for this type of thing and just doesn’t have a clue?
And why does he continually surround himself with non-footballing people?