After taking his time to settle into life on Tyneside, Salomon Rondon quickly became a real fans favourite at Newcastle.
And after that thumping header in a 2-1 win over Manchester City back in early 2019, there was no questioning that he was the kind of profile of striker that the Magpies had lacked for a long time.
After watching him deliver a fine goal-scoring performance against Watford, Alan Shearer wasted no time in praising the towering centre-forward, saying: “He’s got a presence because you know he can do that. You know that he can get on the end of things and he brings people into the game. You know he can hold up the play and you can start your build-up with him.
“They’re a better team with him in there because he gives them options. It was another good performance from him.”
Rondon himself made it clear that he was happy on Tyneside, insisting: “They 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’ll stay here 100%.”
But despite Rafa Benitez lobbying for Rondon’s loan deal to be turned into a permanent one, Newcastle opted to go in a different direction, and watched the pair of them head to the Chinese Super League, whilst they spent £40m on Joelinton.
And everyone knows how that signing has ended up. The Magpies had a goal-scoring striker who offered them a bit of everything, and whilst there are no guarantees in football, his loan spell showed he could be a worthy number nine for them.
Instead, they made a bold, and ultimately, foolish call, to avoid spending big money on him, only for it to blow up in their faces with their Joelinton disaster.