Former Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon spoke to Spanish website todfichajes.com of his desire to have stayed at Newcastle in the summer, before prolonging his relationship with Rafa Benitez in China.
His wish was never afforded to him, and his comments suggest that an approach to sign the Venezuelan on a permanent deal was never fully explored.
Speaking about his move to China, Rondon said: “My transfer to Chinese football was somewhat sudden. I would have continued in Newcastle if they had given me the opportunity, but it couldn’t.”
With Joelinton struggling, having only scored a single goal so far this season, and the team lacking a goal threat in general, his words are likely to upset many Newcastle fans.
The majority of supporters would have loved to have Rondon back in the black and white shirt this season, and his importance to the team last campaign has been underlined by what they currently lack.
Joelinton has done a decent enough job as a lone striker when he is holding the ball up, with his style in that part of his game reminiscent of Rondon’s.
But he is not getting on the end of chances in the box, and in fact, with Steve Bruce’s system, he is not getting many of those chances in the first place.
It is not certain if Rondon would have scored in the current system
It is questionable if even Rondon would have found the net very often under Bruce this term.
But Rondon was undoubtedly a favourite, and to hear the player himself say he wanted nothing more than to continue at St James’ Park will upset many fans, and have them longing for last season’s player of the year.
It still rankles many fans that Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley did not appreciate Rondon enough to make his deal a permanent one, especially as the only likely reason is because his age did not fall into their preferred bracket.
The only way to make fans get over the loss of Rondon, is for his replacement to start finding the net consistently. Unfortunately, that has not looked like happening so far.
In the meantime, fans are still left wondering what might have been, had Rondon been leading the line at Newcastle this season, and their anger that he is not will only be pointing in one direction.