Pundit View: Pardew was right, Rondon is invaluable, says Cascarino

Newcastle continued their impressive form with a hard-fought draw at Bournemouth this weekend, and Tony Cascarino has heaped praise on Salomon Rondon.

The Magpies were unfortunate to come away from the Vitality Stadium with only one point on Saturday, with Jefferson Lerma very lucky to stay on the pitch for a first half horror tackle.

Rafael Benitez’s side also had a couple of decent penalty shouts, but even without the luck on their side, wondergoals from Rondon and Matt Ritchie ensured they avoided defeat.

And Cascarino, who knows a thing or two about playing centre forward, is massively impressed by the Venezuelan international.

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What did he say?

“In January last year, Alan Pardew persuaded West Bromwich Albion to turn down £38 million from China for Salomon Rondon,” Cascarino wrote in his column for The Times.

“If he keeps playing like this, he could be a £50 million striker. There hasn’t been a better signing this season, but he is only on loan at Newcastle. If they can make it permanent, they should, because he can be a Champions League player.”

Does he have a point?

Cascarino is indeed right about Rondon’s capabilities – the striker has racked up 19 goals and three assists in 38 European games, with four of those goals coming in Europe’s elite competition – he is a Champions League player.

The number nine has been phenomenal for the Magpies, and while one could argue he is not an outright £50m player, he is worth that much to Newcastle.

Rondon has Benitez’s trust, he loves playing for the club, does everything demanded of him and has recently started to reap the benefits in front of goal as well.

Pardew didn’t get a lot right in his managerial career, as the Toon Army will be the first to tell you, but he may just have been spot on in his valuation of Rondon’s importance to a side likely to be fighting relegation year after year, just as his West Brom side were then and just as the Magpies are now.