Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season, which for their side begins on Sunday at St James’ Park.
Rafa Benitez’s men deserve huge credit for securing a tenth place finish upon their return to the top-flight last season, a particularly impressive effort given they were languishing in and around the relegation zone at the turn of the year. However, it’s clear from their limitations last season that reinforcements were needed over the summer in a bid to both maintain their top half status and indeed to seek to push on this time round, and perhaps back towards their former glories.
Yet the transfer window painted a very familiar picture for Magpies supporters as owner Mike Ashley was again reluctant to spend big bringing in quality players to the club, leaving manager Benitez with just seven signings, two of which are only temporary ones.
And while several Newcastle fans have been singing the praises of Benitez for convincing Kenedy to return to the North East on loan for the entirety of the coming season, £11.7 million-rated ace Salomon Rondon (as per Transfermarkt) could well prove to be the club’s signing of the summer.
Ultimately, while Chelsea’s Kenedy certainly gave Newcastle a huge boost when he arrived on loan back in January, he still only scored two goals and laid on two assists in 13 Premier League appearances for the Magpies – hardly ground-breaking figures.
Yes, his impact was probably measured more effectively by the huge lift he gave the club at a time whereby Newcastle were struggling near the bottom of the division, but their goal-scoring woes still continued even after his arrival to suggest that a striker was of paramount importance during the summer.
And they certainly got a good one in Rondon.
The Venezuela international may well have been part of a West Brom side relegated from the top-flight last term, but he has scored at least seven goals in each of his three seasons in the Premier League, including nine in his first campaign at the Hawthorns back in 2015/16.
Thus, the 28-year-old will bring a much-needed goal threat which the likes of Joselu simply weren’t able to do last season, and while he maybe isn’t as prolific in front of goal as someone like Dwight Gayle, it’s also what he will bring to Newcastle’s play which further emphasises how good an addition the striker is.
Rondon is aerially excellent and will cause all sorts of problems in the air, which can only be good news for the likes of Kenedy, Matt Ritchie, and Jonjo Shelvey, while his hold-up play is also very strong – he’s exactly what one would want from a lone striker.
So while Kenedy’s arrival is another coup for Benitez, it’s the addition of Rondon which could prove to be Newcastle’s signing of the summer.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!