Lee Clark says he fears for Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez if he is not allowed to sign striker Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis this summer.
He believes that the Magpies would be back to “square one” if they are denied the opportunity to sign the 29-year-old from West Brom on a permanent basis, especially as the centre-forward has already proved what a “success” he is at the club this season.
Clark admits that paying £16 million for a player of his age does not really amount to that much in today’s transfer market, and he also compared Rondon to his former teammate Les Ferdinand.
“If Rafa isn’t allowed to sign Rondon outright, I dread to think what will happen. Newcastle would be back to square one,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Star.
“Is £16m a lot of money for a player of his age? In today’s market, it’s nothing. Good strikers are like gold dust and Rondon’s already proved to be a big success at Newcastle.
“I was fortunate enough to play with Les Ferdinand and Rondon reminds me of him. They’re both swashbuckling centre forwards, who hold the ball up well and provide a focal point for their team-mates.”
Rondon has scored ten goals in 40 appearances for Newcastle this season, which is not the best return in the world, is it? Clark talks about him being a success at the club, but when you look at this figure, it is hard to see where he is coming from. However, numbers aside, as Rondon has proved that Newcastle need to have him up front. He has become the focal point of the starting XI, and the way he holds up play and allows others to come into the game are attributes of his that should be really admired. Yes, he has not scored that many goals this season, but when has Rondon ever been known as a prolific striker? He certainly was not that at West Brom, so he is hardly going to be the same at Newcastle. The thing that is admirable about him is his overall contribution, and that is why Clark is fearing the worst for the club if they do not sign him.