According to ChronicleLive, Newcastle’s top summer target was Nice’s Alassane Pléa, a deal that obviously never went through. But Newcastle should breathe a sigh of relief at that failed business.
In the end, Pléa joined Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach for a fee of £20.7m, a price that some Newcastle fans believe their club would never pay.
The former France under-21 international (valued at £16.2m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) scored 16 goals in 34 Ligue 1 appearances last season, which, by most people’s standards, is a good return. Therefore, at first, this seems like The Magpies missed out. But they definitely didn’t. The alternative that they ended up signing on loan, Salomón Rondón, will prove to be a much, much more valuable player this season.
How often have fans of the Premier League seen a high profile player come from another European league, particularly France, and simply fail to cope with the rigours of England’s top division. Even Alexandre Lacazette, after scoring 28 goals in 30 league games for Lyon, struggled to adapt to the Premier League somewhat. Pléa has that characteristic written all over him.
Pléa would have lacked the pace or physicality to make an immediate impact in the northeast, which will be desperately needed this season. Rondón (valued at £11.7m on Transfermarkt.co.uk), on the other hand, is a proven forward in the Premier League. He won’t need a few months to get running in the league; he can be an instant success when he gets his first start.
Although Rondón’s goal return in the Premier League isn’t fantastic, he was at a struggling club last season, at a better club he could be a major success. Newcastle will need goals this season, in light of some fans’ fears of where they will end up in the table, and Rondón will prove to be a much better purchase than Pléa.