Can Salomón Rondón build on his show stealing performance against Bournemouth?
On the back of his England call-up, Callum Wilson may have garnered most of the pre-match headlines ahead of Newcastle United’s match with Bournemouth last weekend but it was the opposing centre-forward in the famous black and white stripes that everyone would be talking about after the game.
Salomón Rondón chipped in with a match-winning brace and his performance certainly caught the eye of former St James’ Park legend Alan Shearer, who described his display as ‘ the complete centre-forward’s performance‘.
The Magpies’ faithful were equally as impressed with Rondón who earned his place in the WhoScored team of the week but there have been so many false dawns up on Tyneside that they are unlikely to be getting too carried away just yet and may once again end up relying on their wicked sense of humour to help see them through another season….
Even though the Venezuelan international has failed to hit double figures in a Premier League season since moving to England, there are reasons to be encouraged. His xG90 of 0.51 for players that have played at least 400 minutes in the current campaign is only bettered by 10 other players and there is a feeling that the big man may just be getting started.
It may have been a weekend where José Mourinho suggested that people who don’t understand football use stats but seasoned fantasy football managers know full well just how valuable underlying stats can be.
Still not convinced?
Well, if we take a look at last season, focusing on players that played at least one third of the campaign (1140 minutes), we find that only 7 players averaged an xG90 higher than 0.51 and what esteemed company they are – the Manchester City trio of Sergio Agüero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, Mo Salah, Harry Kane, Álvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette!
Newcastle’s short-term fixtures also catch the eye with home games against West Ham, Wolves and Fulham on the horizon in addition to road games at Burnley, Everton and Huddersfield.
Comparing Rondón to the legendary Shearer might be stretching things a bit too far but at the very least, Fantasy Premier League managers should be sitting up and taking notice.
Rondón’s ability in the air was there for all to see last Saturday and he is one of only two players to have scored a hat-trick of headed goals in the Premier League, with Duncan Ferguson being the other. He accomplished that particular feat while playing for West Bromwich Albion against Swansea City back in December 2016 and if there is one thing the Newcastle supporters love, it is a genuine target man!