Salomon Rondon has been phenomenal during his debut campaign on Tyneside, and former Magpie Lee Clark has even gone so far as to compare him to one legendary striker.
It is no coincidence that Newcastle’s results and performances have been transformed since Rondon and Ayoze Perez both found form, as without the duo the Magpies have hardly any goals in their side.
Rondon has found the net ten times and added five assists in his first season with the club, and Clark is clearly extremely impressed.
“I was fortunate enough to play with Les Ferdinand and Rondon reminds me of him,” he said, as reported by Chronicle Live (09:02).
“They’re both swashbuckling centre forwards, who hold the ball up well and provide a focal point for their team-mates.
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“It is vital for a club like Newcastle with its proud history of No.9s that they have someone who can fill the shirt.
“Rondon, like Ferdinand, does that. Some strikers can’t handle the pressure of being the main man.”
It’s not just his goals that make Rondon so special. The big Venezuelan is pretty much everything Rafael Benitez wants in a striker.
He is strong enough to compete for every aerial ball, technically sound enough to get others involved in attacks, and tireless enough to run the channels and keep defenders moving back towards their own goal.
And Clark’s comment about “handling the pressure” is spot on, as the number nine clearly revels in being the main man up top.
However, to compare Rondon to a man who bagged 41 goals in 68 Premier League appearances for the Magpies may just be a step too far.
In fact, it’s a ridiculous. Rondon is a fabulous player, but he has a long way to go before he reaches anywhere near the impact that Ferdinand had on Tyneside.