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Opinion

Most people just realising West Brom promotion was key to Newcastle buying Salomon Rondon

4 weeks ago
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The Dwight Gayle and Salomon Rondon swap deal was surely the most mutually beneficial loan arrangement ever seen.

If there has been a better one, where BOTH clubs benefited, I would love to know.

The only thing missing was that West Brom failed to get over the promotion line (Rondon having scored 11 Premier League goals and got seven assists, whilst Gayle scored 24 for the Baggies).

Maybe if Gayle had started somewhere close to 46 Championship matches, rather than 34, it could/would have bridged the eventual nine point gap that they were adrift of the automatic promotion places.

Of more (only?) importance to Newcastle fans is how Dwight Gayle’s/West Brom’s situation might impact on the chances of signing Salomon Rondon in a permanent deal.

I wrote an article (see below) last Tuesday ahead of West Brom playing Aston Villa in the play-off semi second leg, saying that we desperately needed Albion to beat Villa on the way to a quick return to the Premier League.

However, in the aftermath of West Brom losing, I was repeatedly seeing Newcastle fans claiming that this was great news, as it made signing Salomon Rondon more likely for NUFC.

The general reasoning being that West Brom would supposedly be more desperate to sell Rondon now and his price would be less (a £16.5m Championship release clause, rather than a claimed £20m+ one if West Brom were a Premier League club once again).

The reality is that West Brom were never going to be panicking about selling Salomon Rondon, after what he did for Newcastle last season there was always going to be plenty of clubs willing to meet the Venezuelan international’s release clause and wages, whichever division the Baggies were in.

With West Brom announcing on Sunday night that they can’t afford to buy Dwight Gayle this summer, the reality is finally dawning on Newcastle fans. Bizarrely, many Newcastle supporters thought West Brom staying in the Championship wouldn’t affect their ability/decision to take him on permanently.

As he indicated last week, West Brom not promoted was always going to make the chances of Newcastle buying Rondon all but impossible, where Mike Ashley is concerned anyway.

Newcastle/Rafa Benitez have have lost their big bargaining chip in trying to sign Rondon.

Mike Ashley just maybe would have allowed Rafa to recruit a player turning 30 in September on a massive (by NUFC/Ashley standards) four year contract IF Dwight Gayle going the other way in a swap deal, had meant only a few million having to be paid to West Brom as a premium.

Yes, Dwight Gayle could well still be sold to another club for £15m or so but then that still leaves a totally separate deal having to be done for Salomon Rondon.

Last summer, Mitrovic was sold for £22m (rising to £27m) yet still Rafa Benitez wasn’t allowed to make a cash offer for Rondon.

Mike Ashley agreeing a stand alone deal with £16.5m transfer fee and £20m wages (Salomon Rondon reported to want £100,000 a week and four year contract) for a player who will turn 30 in September.

It takes some believing, doesn’t it?

Newcastle fans though see the bigger picture, doing this deal for Rondon is worth doing on so many levels. The number nine has proved he can do the job, he improves the team overall, he improves other players as individuals, he would help to guarantee at least Premier League status/revenues for the next few years.

Maybe more than anything though, he would help to guarantee Rafa Benitez staying on AND give the fans and club real momentum this summer and into the new season.

My earlier article on The Mag – 14 May 2019:

Debate amongst Newcastle United fans about Salomon Rondon, is second only to the conversation surrounding the future of Rafa Benitez.

The signing of the Venezuelan international striker is widely accepted as one of the lines in the sand Rafa is insisting on, before he will consider staying on and signing a new contract.

So, apart from Rafa needing to stay, what else has to happen before Newcastle can secure the loan forward on a permanent deal?

I have seen a lot of talk on social media from Newcastle fans and the near unanimous verdict is that West Brom have to lose in the play-offs, if there is going to be any hope of signing Salomon Rondon.

The reasoning is that he will be cheaper if West Brom stay in the Championship.

Previous widespread reports said that whilst there is currently a £16.5m release clause (as there was last summer…) whilst West Brom are a relegated/Championship club, that figure will rise to a release clause of at least £20m if the Baggies find themselves promoted the Premier League for next season.

To be honest, I 100% believe that it is the absolute opposite.

If West Brom fail in the play-offs then I think there is zero chance of Salomon Rondon being bought by Newcastle.

However, if they do get promotion I think there is every chance of the number nine turning out for NUFC next season.

Let me explain.

Firstly, I think there is zero chance of Mike Ashley allowing Newcastle to buy Rondon in a stand alone deal, whether that is £16.5m or £20m+.

Secondly, it is obvious (to me) that Dwight Gayle is the key to any potential deal.

Whilst Salomon Rondon has scored 11 Premier League goals and got seven assists, Dwight Gayle has scored 24 goals despite starting only 34 games for West Brom.

His red card at the weekend saw many of the West Brom fans, who had voted him player of the season, suggest that they were a one man team and now stood no chance of going up, as he is banned for tonight’s second leg against Villa AND the play-off final if they get through.

It is the perfect arrangement, if the Baggies return to the top tier, the two clubs can make the arrangement a permanent swap.

Mike Ashley won’t pay £16.5m for a striker who turns 30 in September BUT he would do a swap deal, in my opinion, if it is wrapped up inn a swap deal.

A stand alone buying of Rondon makes it look like he’s lost (in Ashley’s own head), publicly forced to back down to Rafa and pay so much for a player who he has no chance of selling at a future profit.

However, he can pat himself on the back if it is a swap.

Dwight Gayle cost £10m back in summer 2016 and his 23 goals were key in the promotion, plus his all round unselfish play was also vital in staying up comfortably last season, despite only six PL goals. So Mike Ashley could/would see landing a £20m+ rated Salomon Rondon simply by letting go an unwanted striker who cost £10m and he/NUFC got full value from, as vindication of his ‘clever’ running of Newcastle United.

Also, I think Gayle will really want another go at the Premier League, so even if West Brom did still want to sign him despite staying down, he wouldn’t be interested in another second tier season.

We really need West Brom to turn around this 2-1 deficit against Villa tonight and then beat Derby or Leeds in the final, if we are to see Salomon Rondon in a black and white (NUFC) shirt once again.

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