Newcastle United’s season has suddenly taken a positive turn in recent weeks, with back-to-back victories over Watford and Bournemouth providing welcome relief from the dark cloud of negativity which loomed over St James’ Park prior to that pair of results.
Rafa Benitez is undoubtedly the star of the show at Newcastle, but Kenedy’s short-term impact last season provided the supporters with a player to get genuinely excited about. Salomon Rondon’s emphatic brace against Bournemouth last time out suggested that the Venezuela international could be the next loanee to become a hero on Tyneside, but the club cannot continue to rely on him if they wish to guarantee survival this season.
Bullish, powerful and diligent, Rondon is a striker with plenty to offer, but he is lacking the finesse and technical talent which Newcastle could benefit from this season. With that being said, Benitez should be looking ahead to the January window to identify a candidate to support Rondon in his centre-forward duties.
Based on Jurgen Klopp’s stubborn refusal to even select him for his match day squad, Dominic Solanke should be firmly on the Magpies’ radar ahead of the mid-season window.
The 21-year-old striker has found himself on the periphery of Liverpool’s senior squad this season and he is yet to feature in a single minute of first-team football, despite his impressive performances on international duty.
Solanke has notched four goals in his last two appearances for England U21’s, including a sumptuous back-heel against Denmark earlier this week, and it’s his technical quality and natural goal scoring ability which makes him a perfect alternative to Rondon.
With pace to burn in behind the back-four, a tight first-touch and a clinical instinct in front of goal, Solanke’s presence could represent the difference between survival and relegation this season.
Benitez may well struggle to convince Solanke to move to St James’ Park as he continues to push for regular opportunities at Anfield, but if his situation doesn’t change in the coming months there is no doubt that he will be forced to consider a temporary move away from the club.
A switch to Newcastle would be in the best interests of Solanke’s career and it would provide Benitez with a genuine alternative at centre-forward, so the Spaniard should be lining up a January loan bid in the coming weeks.
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