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Pundit’s Choice: Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie

Pundit’s Choice: Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie - Features

Salomon Rondon’s arrival at Newcastle United was dubbed as another quintessential example of Mike Ashley’s unambitious transfer policy, but he temporarily silenced his contingent of doubters on Saturday afternoon with a match-winning performance against Bournemouth. 

Indeed, the Venezuela international may have demonstrated a slight lack of conviction with his 7th minute opener, but the manner in which he thumped an emphatic header beyond Asmir Begovic to double Newcastle’s advantage evoked a fresh feeling of hope for the season ahead amongst the St James’ faithful.

A header which a multitude of strikers from brighter Newcastle eras would unquestionably have been proud of, Rondon’s commanding strike proved to be the decisive moment of the game.

In the aftermath of proceedings, Rondon was deservedly lauded throughout the British media, not only for his goal scoring exploits, but also for his intelligent hold-up play and overall involvement in a priceless victory.

While Alan Shearer gushed over a fellow number nine on Match of the Day, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp adopted a similar opinion in his team of the week column, as published by the Daily Mail.

‘What a brilliant, old-fashioned centre forward’s header from Salomon Rondon for Newcastle against Bournemouth. Using his strength to out-muscle Nathan Ake, he flung himself at the ball to fire his team to victory. Finally, it looks like they have a player who can make the most of Matt Ritchie’s pinpoint crosses.’

Interestingly, Redknapp has cited Ricthie’s crossing ability as the one which Rondon could profit from, despite the fact it was Kenedy’s deliciously weighted cross which allowed him to head home his second of the game at St James’ Park.

The naturally left-footed Ritchie is capable of delivering wicked balls into the penalty area, and his return of 6 assists from 35 Premier League fixtures last season serves to illuminate that notion.

But with a physically commanding presence like Rondon now spearheading the attack instead of the comparably diminutive Dwight Gayle, he has an ideal opportunity to improve on that record.

Ritchie may not have provided either of the killer balls which enabled Rondon to strike twice on Saturday afternoon, but there is no doubt that his excellent ability to deliver from wide positions could become a pivotal component of Rondon’s success this season as he bids to fire the Magpies to safety.

Newcastle fans – thoughts on the dynamic between Rondon and Ritchie? Let us know below!

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Article title: Pundit’s Choice: Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie

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