Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez only spent one season together at Newcastle United, but it was one season fans will remember for quite some time.
Newcastle United supporters had to wait multiple seasons to witness some attacking flare after the duo of Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba broke up in January of 2013. In the club’s first season back in the Premier League (2017), the Magpies struggled to score goals as Dwight Gayle and Joselu only managed to score a combined total of 10 goals through 38 games.
The lack of production on the front-line prompted managing director Lee Charnley to secure a loan deal for Salomon Rondon, who was at the top of Rafa Benitez’s wishlist in the summer of 2018. Pairing the Venezuelan international with Ayoze Perez was one of the best decisions Newcastle United have made in recent seasons.
At first, some fans were skeptical of Rondon’s scoring ability due to the fact that he had never scored more than nine goals in a single season for West Brom between 2015 and 2017. Well, Rondon had sufficient support in midfield when he came to Newcastle United, and once he developed proper chemistry with Perez up top, the duo scored goals for fun, as shown in the video below.
As mentioned earlier, Gayle and Joselu only scored 10 goals in the 2017-18 campaign, but Rondon and Perez combined to score 23 league goals, and they also provided nine assists for each other and their teammates. In total, Rondon and Perez were directly involved in 76% of Newcastle United’s goals last season.
In other words, the Magpies would have been playing their football in the Championship this term if it were not for the stellar form of this duo in the second half of last season. Rondon did not open his scoring account with Newcastle United until November, and Perez did not perform at an elite level until January, but once they got going there was no stopping them.
The arrival of Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United enabled Benitez to alter his tactics and play more attacking football, which tremendously helped both Rondon and Perez reach new heights in the Premier League.
It is unfortunate that this duo only spent one season together, but their impact on the team played a critical role in ensuring that the Toon Army would enjoy top flight football for at least one more season.