Former Arsenal man Perry Groves has claimed that West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon is the one player Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez will want to sign this summer.
The burly Venezuelan enjoyed a fantastic season on loan at St James’ Park, but has now headed back to the Hawthorns with his future up in the air. Groves believes Benitez will be desperate to bring him in full-time.
“There’s one player that you would want to sign, [that] would be Rondon,” he told talkSPORT [17/05; 10:16]. “He gives Newcastle a focal point up front. He scored 10 goals this season; he’s big in stature; he works the two centre halves; he holds the ball up.
“Also, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that [Ayoze] Perez has started scoring goals when he’s been linking up and playing with him. So Rafa Benitez will not want to see Rondon go to any other club.”
Groves is absolutely bang on the money, here. Rondon was a crucial player for the Magpies this campaign and made such a difference to Benitez’s team. So the Spaniard won’t want him to walk out the door this summer, particularly if he ends up with another Premier League team. It seems like the player would be happy enough to stay on Tyneside, while it’s been clear for some time that the manager is desperate for him to remain where is. The only problem is the Newcastle hierarchy, who run the risk of losing their Player of the Season because they don’t want to pay what West Brom want for a player who will be 30 in September. That would be a huge shame, because you cannot put a price on what the Venezuelan has brought to this Newcastle team. If he does end up staying with the Baggies or moving to another team who aren’t the Magpies, then there will be outcry at St James’ Park led, you suspect, by the manager himself.