The Chronicle’s Chris Waugh has provided a worrying update on Salomon Rondon’s fitness, stating that the striker was seen limping out of St James’ Park when exiting the stadium on Saturday.
We’ve not seen the big Venezuelan since he came off with a thigh injury at Palace last month and, despite Rafa confirming that he’d trained last week, he was not deemed ready to return to the squad against Brighton.
We’re all hoping to see the West Brom loanee back in time to face Southampton on Saturday, however these comments from Chris Waugh’s latest piece for The Chronicle will not fill NUFC fans with much hope of that happening:
“Worryingly, as journalists waited in the mixed zone after the defeat to Brighton, Rondon exited the stadium via the side of the pitch, appearing to limp at points. Whether that was due to his thigh injury, or merely just the unusual way he walks, was unclear.
“What is obvious that Benitez needs Rondon back as soon as possible, and for the striker to come good – and quickly.
“Otherwise Newcastle can play as well as they want, but they simply will not score enough.”
As Waugh states, Rondon has never been prolific during his previous three seasons in the Premier League, however he’s desperately needed as far as we’re concerned – with us scoring just 6 goals in 9 games so far this season.
Perhaps the most worrying stat is that we’ve failed to score one goals in any of our more ‘winnable’ games against Cardiff (0-0), Palace (0-0), Leicester (0-2) and Brighton (0-1).
I’m a firm believer that Rondon WOULD suit the lone striker role in Rafa’s 4-2-3-1 system and I back him to make an impact, but he’s not use to us if he can’t stay fit.
Let’s hope we see him in training pictures over the coming days. If not, his continued absence may be looking pretty ominous ahead of such a crucial game at Southampton this weekend.