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Steve Bruce explains why Newcastle United had to buy Salomon Rondon…without realising it

2 years ago

Interesting to see Steve Bruce talking up Salomon Rondon.

It was inadvertently of course, as no doubt Mike Ashley has banned any mention of the Venezuelan.

The NUFC Head Coach was actually trying to explain away why Joelinton has only scored one Premier League goal in 27 starts and one sub appearance so far.

Steve Bruce talking about how difficult it is for strikers from other leagues to settle and score goals regularly, Bruce saying: ‘That is my experience of it and it takes a while, so maybe another 12 months.’

So Newcastle United lose their only two goalscorers and last summer the combined talents of Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce thought it a great idea to bring in a striker who is almost always injured and the odd time he is fit hardly ever scores, as well as somebody from overseas who will probably take a couple of years to start scoring regularly…

So Mike Ashley insists on forcing out last season’s player of the year Salomon Rondon, who was an established and experienced Premier League striker, who had just had his best ever season, scoring 11 PL goals and getting 7 assists, in 30 PL starts and 2 sub appearances. Ashley refusing to allow any offer to be made to buy the number nine.

This is a key part of the Ashley stupidity, thinking he knows better than Rafa Benitez who refused to agree to buying Joelinton. The NUFC owner not factoring in the fact that bringing in young inexperienced players from overseas, carries a massive extra risk, whether they will be good enough and of course even if they do that, how long it will take. You would have thought Mike Ashley should have learnt after the last relegation, relying on two 20 year olds, a 22 year old and a 24 year old, all brought in during summer 2015 after Newcastle only survived relegation on the final day of the previous season (Jonas 2-0 v West Ham).

Well ran clubs, as Rafa was trying to turn us into, would only have made those striker signings last summer IF they were in a position where Carroll maybe hardly starting a match wouldn’t be a potential disaster and not putting too much expectation on the 22 year old Brazilian striker, prepared to play him so many games before resting him etc etc. Joelinton has started every single Premier League game (and all the FA matches) apart from at Sheffield United, where he still came on as a sub. Flogging a dead horse springs to mind as the season has rolled on…

If instead of the laughable Andy Carroll PR stunt, Newcastle had signed Joelinton AND Salomon Rondon, then that could have made perfect sense, especially with Joelinton able to play on the left as well as through the middle.

You could have played them both and at times maybe rested Rondon and put Joelinton through the middle, the Venezuelan could have guided him and improved his centre-forward play. Lee Charnley said there was £61m plus cash from player sales to spend this season, so with around £28m of that still unspent, plenty there to have paid the £16.5m Salomon Rondon release clause at West Brom.

Journalists have said Rondon’s wage demands were prohibitive. Well, with no doubt this line fed from Ashley’s people I wouldn’t believe it anyway. Yes he would have wanted a big final contract but the lure of staying at Newcastle and in the Premier League wouldn’t have seen him demanding Chinese league style wages. The fact is, it is false economy anyway when instead you pay lower amounts to those such as Carroll who never even play, or players who aren’t good enough, such as Muto, who Rafa was forced to take a gamble on when Mike Ashley refused to allow him to sign the level of striker needed in summer 2018, the same with Joselu in summer 2017.

Steve Bruce in trying to back up Mike Ashley’s £43m signing of Joelinton, compares him to two other strikers who arrived from overseas last summer.

Joelinton scored seven league goals last season before Newcastle bought him for £43m, he has one PL goal this season after playing 2,208 minutes.

Steve Bruce compared the Brazilian to two strikers who have actually had to come in and play at two clubs who have struggled evn worse (so far…) than Newcastle.

Sebastien Haller scored 15 league goals last season before West Ham bought him for a similar amount as Joelinton, he has 7 PL goals so far for the Hammers in 2,058 minutes played.

Wesley scored 13 league goals last season, Villa paying £20m, he has scored 5 so far in 1,790 PL minutes.

Even with these comparisons Steve Bruce simply digs a bigger hole, if Joelinton had scored 7 Premier League goals then none of us would be thinking his signing was a total joke.

If Salomon Rondon had been bought instead or as well as Joelinton, I think he would have had double figures by now, after all he didn’t score his first PL goal for Newcastle until November 2018, once he was properly fit. Scoring his 11 in the last 26 NUFC league starts he made.

Steve Bruce after Joelinton made it one goal from 28 Premier League appearances:

“You only have to look at West Ham.

“Investing heavily in a big centre forward and I can understand the way that club were thinking,

“They wanted a big centre forward to lead the line.

“The number nine for Newcastle, you search around England and think where do you get one of those?

“So of course you go to Europe and if you look at Haller at West Ham, the boy [Wesley] who is injured at Aston Villa, who is another big number nine…you look at the returns they have given and they have all found it difficult.

“That is my experience of it and it takes a while, so maybe another 12 months.

“Of course you can’t wait that long  and that’s the problem, we will try and find a solution. 

“When you look at the front three and what we have invested, I am sure all of us would want more, but that is the hardest part of the Premier League.

“It is always difficult when they are coming from afar to settle into the Premier League.

“Especially if you’re a forward player because you have to be a top player to score more than a dozen goals here.”


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