Rondón out to make history with the Magpies
Written by Tom Easterby
Newcastle United’s new number nine Salomón Rondón says he wants to “make history” at the club.
The 28-year-old completed his season-long loan deal on Monday, with Dwight Gayle heading in the opposite direction.
He will become the first Venezuelan to represent the club, and is hoping to make his bow for the Magpies in Saturday’s Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur.
And if he does so, he will walk out with the famous number nine on his back – and Rondón says he’s aware of the illustrious list of players he’s following.
“If I can take the number nine it is a pleasure for me,” he told NUFC TV. “I know this number is heavy in this club. A lot of top strikers played here – Alan Shearer, Tino Asprilla – so it’s important for me as a striker, of course. My dad always told me the striker has to play with the number nine!
“If you say the names – Alan Shearer, everyone – this country knows about him and what he did for the club. And Asprilla is a South American player, he’s Colombian, and we know in South America a lot about the players. For me, I’m here, I’m Venezuelan and I want to make history at this club.
He added: “For me it’s a pleasure to be here, the first Venezuelan (to play) for the club, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Manager Rafa Benítez could hand competitive debuts to four of his six summer signings this weekend, with Ki Sung-yueng, Fabian Schär, Yoshinori Mutō and Rondón vying for a place along with fellow arrivals Martin Dúbravka and Kenedy, who featured for the club during their loan spells last term.
And the former Zenit St Petersburg frontman is eager to kick-start his spell at St. James’ Park – a stadium that has already made an impression on him.
“I’m excited to start with my teammates, and I’m very happy. Now I’m focussed on the season and I want to help my teammates get the points and reach the target this season,” he said.
“I was in Birmingham with my family and my agents told me about the interest. It’s a big opportunity for me and my family. It’s a big club in the Premier League and I know the interest of the gaffer. I’m happy that finally the deal is on and I’m here.
“I have played a few times, when I came to St. James’ Park. The atmosphere was amazing, the supporters were very passionate and that is amazing when a player plays on the pitch and feels something like that.”
"I know this number is heavy in this club. A lot of top strikers played here – Alan Shearer, Tino Asprilla – so it’s important for me as a striker, of course. My dad always told me the striker has to play with the number nine!"