Salomon Rondon was Newcastle’s hero against Bournemouth.
The on-loan striker bagged a brace, registering his first Premier League goals for his new club.
As well as his goals, Rondon’s all-round performance was strong, which was probably even more pleasing for Rafa Benitez.
Ever since the Spaniard became manager, he’s lacked that real focal point up front. In Rondon, he has exactly that.
Rondon finally delivers
In the Championship, it was all about goals, and Dwight Gayle brought exactly that.
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In the Premier League though, we aren’t always going to have things our own way. Therefore, Benitez wanted someone who can really lead the line and get his team up the pitch.
Aleksandar Mitrovic wasn’t reliable enough to do that, Gayle wasn’t strong enough, Islam Slimani wasn’t here long enough, and Joselu isn’t good enough, sadly.
So with Rondon arriving, it was almost like Benitez’s final roll of the dice.
After a rough and disrupted start in black and white, the number nine really arrived on Saturday. Even without his goals, it was a great performance.
The 29-year-old was a beast up front, and held the ball up brilliantly. He was constantly bringing people into the game, taking the game by the scruff of the neck.
If he can stay fit, then Rondon is the perfect striker for Benitez’s Newcastle. While he might not be the most prolific goalscorer around, he makes the players around him better.
Add his two goals to the equation, and the Bournemouth game was the perfect performance from the Newcastle striker.