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Tony Cascarino believes Newcastle United have ‘Missed a trick’ in not buying striker

6 months ago
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Tony Cascarino has selected two Newcastle United players in his Premier League team of the week.

Ayoze Perez is a predictable choice but nice to see another more unsung star getting recognition.

Cascarino going for Matt Ritchie in his PL team of choice, the Scottish international putting in a tremendous display against Southampton, never giving his opponents a moment’s peace, as well as getting an assist for Perez’ hat-trick goal.

Writing in The Times, Tony Cascarino has picked out another Newcastle player who he says has been ‘pivotal’ for the team over the course of the season so far.

He may have a point.

Newcastle haven’t won a single Premier League game when Rondon hasn’t started.

Whilst the Venezuelan has been directly involved in more goals (15 – scored nine and six assists) than any other player, with Ayoze Perez the next highest with 12 (10 goals and two assists).

Tony Cascarino now thinks ‘Newcastle missed a trick by not buying Salomon Rondon for £16m last summer’, although he acknowledges that some believed last summer it would have been one of NUFC’s ‘worst transfer decisions in history’ if they had paid the £16m.

I think that whilst Newcastle fans were a little surprised when Rafa Benitez chose Rondon to lead his attack, they know to trust the manager’s judgement. So the big thing they couldn’t believe was how Mike Ashley could sell Mitrovic for £22m (rising to £27m) and yet refuse to allow his manager to buy Salomon Rondon. Ashley’s insistence on spending as little money as possible meaning Rafa only landed Rondon in the very final stages of last summer’s  transfer window, meaning the striker had no pre-season whatsoever with NUFC, whilst Rafa also had to agree to let Dwight Gayle go on loan in the opposite direction if he was to land the West Brom striker even on loan.

As we all know, it was the age of Salomon Rondon that was the stumbling block, Mike Ashley not wanting to pay the £16m release clause for a striker who was set to turn 29 in September (2018).

That being the case, Newcastle fans find it very difficult to believe Ashley will this summer allow £16m+ to be spent on a Salomon Rondon who will turn 30 this September (2019).

Though plenty of other clubs will be more than willing…

To be fair, Rafa Benitez knew what he wanted and knew how to get even more out of the forward than a struggling West Brom had managed.

In his three seasons at the Hawthorns, Rondon had been been directly involved in 11 Premier League goals (scoring nine and two assists) in 2015/16, 10 (scoring eight and two assists) in 2016/17, with 10 (scoring seven and three assists) in 2017/18.

It looks very much as though it will be an all or nothing for Newcastle fans, either Rafa and Rondon will both stay, or the pair will leave.

It could be a painful watch for NUFC supporters if manager and star striker end up elsewhere in the Premier League next season, especially if we end up with Joselu and John Carver, or their equivalents, instead.

Tony Cascarino writing for The Times:

“Newcastle missed a trick by not signing Salomon Rondon for £16 million last summer.

“The Venezuela forward moved on loan from West Brom but Newcastle had the option to sign him and turned it down.

“Some thought that £16 million for a 29-year-old would be one of the club’s worst transfer decisions in history.

“They might regret that if he joins another club when his loan finishes.

“Rondon has been pivotal to that forward line and the way he drags people out of position allows Ayoze Pérez, who scored a hat-trick against Southampton, to thrive.”

The Mag – 4 March 2019:

Salomon Rondon talking to the Chronicle:

“They [Newcastle United/ Mike Ashley] know what I want and what my family want.

“I have spoken with them and made it clear.

“If there is an opportunity for me to be here, I will stay here 100%.

“If not I will say thank you to everybody and see what happens next.

“I don’t think so [when asked about claims that Newcastle had tried to make deal into permanent signing in January].

“I was focused on games in December and January, as there were many, many games.

“I have left it all to my agent.

“It’s a pleasure to be here and my family are settled and happy to be here, I play with the number nine on my back and it is a pleasure for me.

“I am still on loan but if I get to stay here then I’ll be at a beautiful place.

“If not I will say thank you and wish you all luck for the future.

“I love being here…being here is great for me, I am settled here.

“I will be trying to score more goals and then we will see what happens in the future, I’m only on loan so you never know what happens.

“If I could stay many years here I’d love to, I love wearing the number nine and scoring goals for the team.”

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