Newcastle fans were absolutely stunned by Salomon Rondon on Saturday, as the powerful Venezuelan put on a truly elite striker’s display.
When Rafael Benitez sold Aleksandar Mitrovic this summer, Newcastle fans were concerned that the gaffer had dumped the exact type of centre forward he was looking for.
Benitez wanted a target man who can work the channels and hold the ball up, but Mitrovic only does the latter of those two things.
Rondon was brought in at the last second, and the 29 year-old has had to wait for his opportunity after picking up an injury earlier in the campaign.
He was back with a bang on Saturday though, scoring both goals as the Magpies romped past Bournemouth to put themselves four places clear of the relegation zone.
Rondon showed his striker’s instincts early on, staying alive in the box after his first shot was saved and burying the rebound.
He then slammed in one of the best headers of the season, meeting Kenedy’s sublime cross at full speed and planting it in the top corner.
It wasn’t just his goals that Rafa brought him in for though, as the experienced front man won a whopping eight aerial duels and drew four fouls.
This is exactly the type of play you need from a striker in a match that Bournemouth dominated periods of, and he even did his defensive duties with four clearances.
He could have probably bagged a hat trick as he fired in a remarkable eight shots, and he also showed his surprisingly good feet for such a powerful player by completing one take-on.
This was the best centre forward’s performance on Tyneside since a certain Match of the Day pundit was sprinting around St James’ Park with one arm raised, and Rafa’s move to dump Mitrovic and sign Rondon could now be the difference in keeping the Magpies up.
So, Newcastle fans, how impressed were you by Rondon on Saturday? Do you fancy your chances to go on a run after the international break? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…