The international break has seen Salomon Rondon and Dwight Gayle come under the spotlight.

With column inches to fill, the media in the North East and West Midlands have been talking a lot about what will happen at the end of the loan deals.

This is despite some six months remaining and the two strikers only having made 17 league starts between them so far.

Injury and fitness issues affecting both players, Gayle starting 12 of West Brom’s 17 Championship games, whilst Rondon has started only 5 of Newcastle’s 12 Premier League matches.

Saturday was a perfect coming together of the two stories ahead of this two week gap without games, Salomon Rondon producing a two goal man of the match performance, whilst returning from injury, Dwight Gayle came off the bench to score his 9th goal with a classy backheel.

The apparently overwhelming reaction from the two sets of fans 200 miles apart, being that they would be more than happy for loan arrangements to become permanent.

There is one massive obstacle though.

Look back at what happened this summer, the loan deals went through the day after West Brom kicked off their league season, whilst for Newcastle it was only half a dozen days before they did the same in the Premier League.

Despite it being obvious that a quick deal was massively beneficial to both clubs, instead we had a complete mess, with neither striker getting any pre-season with their new club, preventing them hitting  the ground running.

It all came down to Mike Ashley wanting to wring every last penny of benefit out of the swap deal, this being despite making a £20m+ profit on deals in and out, including selling a striker for £22m (rising to £27m).

Initially, a permanent deal was said to be in the offing. Rafa Benitez wanting Salomon Rondon to lead a new look attack, whilst West Brom saw Dwight Gayle as the ideal striker to fire them out of the Championship and also fit a new look attack for them hopefully going into the Premier League, with more emphasis on pace, rather than a target man like Rondon.

Days and then weeks went by without any deal, Mike Ashley unwilling to accept that Salomon Rondon’s overall profile meant his valuation was significantly higher than Dwight Gayle’s.

The upshot of it was, Mike Ashley refusing to bend and buy the player, despite having promised ‘every penny’ to Rafa Benitez and also having refused to properly fund improvement elsewhere in the Newcastle team.

With the NUFC owner refusing to budge on a permanent deal, focus then switched to saving the arrangement by changing to loan deals.

Once again though things dragged on and on, Mike Ashley refusing to even acknowledge that there should be a balancing loan payment going to West Brom.

With time running out and only a few days until the transfer deadline, Ashley eventually agreed to a £2m payment going to the Baggies as part of the loan swap.

When you think of what is at stake this season and the overall finances involved, it is staggering that Mike Ashley put the manager and team/squad in this position, rather than at least doing the bare minimum to help Rafa Benitez be prepared for this season.

So looking ahead to the end of the season, the massive obstacle(s) will still be there.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me that if say Rondon scores 10 goals and Gayle 20 or more this season, that Mike Ashley would insist that it is Dwight Gayle who is worth more than the Venezuelan international.

The facts are, Rondon turns 30 in September 2019 and Gayle turns 29 in October 2019.

Neither player has proved prolific in the Premier League and indeed if Salomon Rondon did get 10 goals or more this season, it would be the first time either had got double figures in the English top tier.

However, Rondon has scored goals at international level, 25 goals in 57 starts for Malaga in La Liga, as well as 33 goals in 54 starts (plus sub appearances) in Russia for Rubin Kazan and Zenit, as well as commanding £15m and £16m transfer fees.

Bottom line is that any permanent swap deal next summer would have to include a significant payment to West Brom to balance the two signings. Something which I see as impossible when it comes to Mike Ashley’s mindset of always wanting to believe he has got the far better part of a deal, rather than accepting that at times a win win arrangement is needed.

In terms of money, you would also need the NUFC owner to accept the need to pay higher wages to Rondon than those that Gayle was getting, to at least match the deal the Venezuelan had at West Brom. This only adds another level to what I believe would make the obstacles far too high to allow Ashley to agree to a permanent swap deal.

Mike Ashley would simply see agreeing to all of this as ‘losing’, yet again failing to see the bigger picture whereby sometimes spending money can save you far more in the longer-term.

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  • Leazes.

    Rondon is a sub ten goal a season striker….. and so is Gayle in the Premiership….

    Arguing which one represents the future I find depressing, just as the single goal has elevated him in the ‘stupid media’ to the next Shearer!….. partly down to Shearer himself who led the ‘stupid chorus’ on MOTD…..


    • Wor Lass

      To be fair to Shearer, he was commenting on the game he`d just watched and Rondon was pretty good – everyone`s MoM (and that`s not American for mam!).

      • Leazes.

        It was a Shearer type header….. that’s all….. the press were away with the pixies….

    • Rabid Dog

      Exactly right. His first good game this season, and we had to wait until November to see it. Now everyone is gushing over him. If he produces performances like that every week to the end of the season, and doesn’t get injured again, then we might have someone worth signing…. I don’t hold out much hope tho

  • Kenny

    Neither are viable options in the long term, they just aren`t good enough

    • Leazes.

      I think this Dale Thompson chap is doing Ashleys work for him….. which do you want a punch in the face or a slap around the chops?

  • Paul Patterson

    Er I think you’ll find we hold most of the trump cards here. Rondon has a year left on his contract after the end of the season so should be available for a lesser fee. Gayle has longer (2021) and would be worth far more to WBA if they don’t come up(currently 5th) as he’s invaluable in the Championship.
    I would hazard a guess that Rondon will be worth around £12m next summer and Gayle worth £15-20m.
    Gayle will score 20 Championship goals this season (currently 9) and Rondon will score 12+ Premier League goals (currently 2).

    • Leazes.

      No don’t go there….. have you witnessed anyone wearing the name Rondon on the back of their shirts?….. there’s a reason for that!

      • Paul Patterson

        Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the elephant in the room (or Shirebrook).
        I don’t actually believe we will get Rondon or that it’s anywhere near certain Rafa will still be here anyway.

      • Rich Lawson

        They’ve all been printed with Robson on the back ?

    • Andy Mole

      You do know Rondon has a 16m + add ons release clause right?

      He won’t leave Albion for 12m

      • Big Al 1967

        Widely reported that the release clause expired on July 31st

      • Wezza

        He won’t leave for 16M either thanks to the FCB, malevolent greed!

    • Pezza

      His contract is up in Jun 2019. He’s free in june

      • Stephen Paylor

        WBA have another one year option on him

  • t00nraider

    If Rondon gets good service regularily he can score a lot of goals. It doesn’t take long to know when a player is top quality and he showed it last game with some quality passing and keeping the ball skills. Plenty time until the summer for options.

    • Ram Kishore

      I’d never forget the pass he made to Yedlin. Pretty good quality one

  • Albert Stubbins

    To be fair, with the exception of one good performance, any thought of a swap deal wouldn’t have been needed to have been blocked by Fat Mike- it would have been Rafa!!

  • Superdooperhooper

    Jumping the gun a bit there dale . He’s had one good game. And we don’t know who the manager will be next summer

  • Pezza

    Sorry Dale, that is a huge work of fiction. The only thing you consistantly have right is the name of the players.

    The issues are / were more complex. Rafa didn’t want to lose Gayle but West Brom obviously needed to look after themselves and needed to replace their striker. Gayle did not want to leave having felt hed found form and at 28 was going to have his best couple of seasons ahead of him (in his opinion). There is, and will be a major issue with Rondon’s wage. As the enquiries went back and forth, the agent & wba indicated to Nufc that Rondon’s wage was £60k a week. A little more than Gayle’s with the latter having a lower basic but significant bonuses.

    • Ram Kishore

      Muto for Alasane Plea I suppose, a bit more cheaper alternative when we couldn’t sign.
      Imo loan deal was a better option. At the end of the season if both the clubs are happy to keep the respective players, we should definitely do one offering a short one isn’t bad. Like the one Fernandez has been offered. A 2 year deal with one year extension.

      • Pezza

        The key will be in June 29

        • Stephen Paylor

          WBA have an option for another year on Rondon i believe

      • Wezza

        The Plea interest was pure Keith Bishop PR – even the Lyon president said there’d been no contact. Muto, yes, was a cheap replacement – just like Ki was a freebie replacement for Merino – nice profit there!

        • Ram Kishore

          It was Nice, not Lyon wezza.
          Nice president said Plea was interested only in moving to Borussia Monchen.. and the buying club met the valuation. All parties were happy.
          Recently Plea’s interview or report revealed why he rejected Nufc because Nufc didn’t have a long-term plan or something like that

          And there was also this fans forum minutes saying unnamed players were not interested in moving

          • Wezza

            Nice, sorry my bad. Do you believe what the club stated in those minutes? There was no bid for Plea. We have not and will not break our transfer record.

          • Ram Kishore

            I don’t know whether we made a bid or not but I do believe an approach or an enquiry was made to sign Plea. But the player rejected us for obvious reasons like Nufc being a club without direction or ambition

  • Leazes.

    Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle United are better without sulking stars like the class of 2016….. they need to be…. its now the 17th most valuable squad as opposed to 14th.

    Problem is player who don’t want to wear the shirt think they are too good for it and players who do want to wear it won’t get a better club…..that’s why they want to stay….. and the club is happy to oblige…..

    ….that’s why we are in the yo-yo positions.

    Ryder of course is happy to push for the removal of players rather than the removal of the system which has repeated over the course of the Ashley years.

    That’s right Ryder you drive them out!

  • NUFCDan

    If we stay up thanks to Rondon scoring somewhere around the 10-15 goal mark there will be riots if we don’t buy him. He doesn’t exactly rely on his pace so I don’t see why he wouldn’t have another few seasons in him yet.

    • Kenny

      Sheep don`t riot

  • Rich Lawson

    Shall we just see how the season plays out ? Do we stay up,do they come up,both huge factors ?

  • Mike

    wont matter if Rafa is oot the door

  • Foggy

    I don’t care what Rondon has done in the past. It’s what he does this season that counts. I’m not getting carried away after one game but I hope he keeps it up.

    I said the same about sissoko when many clems were calling him world class after a handful of games and look how that panned out. Still can’t believe anybody was desperate enough to pay 30 mill for him.

  • NUFC9

    Same age. Neither have impressive records in the PL. Both have done well in weaker leagues. (Gayle brilliant in Championship. Rondon decent in Russia/Spain.) Rondon has a soon expiring contract, Gayle doesn’t.

    Don’t see why Rondon should be worth significantly more than Gayle. Particularly if Gayle scores 20+ championship goals this season. Look at how nobody would touch Mitro at £14m a year ago. 4 successful months on loan in the Championship and he’s sold for £22-27m.

    If Gayle scores 20+ again this season why wouldn’t he be worth £15/20m? Similar to Mitro, minus a bit for age?

    West Brom had no takers this summer for Rondon at his £16m release clause.

  • Wezza

    FCB won’t sign him for more money or any other kind of deal.
    Malevolent greed!

  • Stephen Paylor

    They are of similar value due to the length of contract tim eleft and Gayle being one year younger. The reality is that we should be looking for a higher level and more long term option. Divock Origi, Dominick Solanke, Michy Batshuyai etc, under 25 all have pace and can play the way Rafa wants combining pace and the ability to run in behind but also hold up the ball when needed

  • Mr wobert

    On planet cashley the cheapest option is the way to go,fu*k the fans ( sheeple)
    Bleating on about progress and building a good team.costs money 💴 he won’t do it.