After signing for a club record deal reportedly worth up to £12 million, Salomón Rondón has looked occasionally impressive but, in reality he has failed to really impress in his first five months at the Hawthorns.
A return of three goals from eleven starts, and two substitute appearances, is not really the return the Baggies fans were hoping for, although it does put him joint top of the Albion scoring charts with Saido Berahino and James Morrison.
However, when you consider that the entire team has only found the net eleven times all season (plus one own goal), it is hardly surprising that our strikers aren’t troubling the scoring charts.
Tony Pulis has suggested that Rondón’s trips back to South America for the international breaks have taken their toll on the big front man, but if that has been an issue, we now have a run of four months without any breaks for international football (or a winter break for that matter) which should give the Venezuelan an opportunity to properly get up to speed with Premier League football.
In my opinion, however, Rondón’s lack of goals is more to do with the way Albion are playing rather than any issue with his own performance. More often than not, he is playing the lone front role with a less than pacy midfield slow to support him. At times, his hold up play has been excellent, but the lack of pace in the side means that he is often ploughing a lonely furrow.
After viewing Rondón’s goals for Zenit last season, it’s clear to see that most of them were poacher’s goals, and Albion just don’t spend enough time in the opposition penalty area to provide him with the same number of opportunities to score that type of goal. Fantastic goal poachers like Lineker, Cole, Owen, etc. would have struggled to score too many in the Albion side so far this season!
Like Brown Ideye last season, Rondón has found it tough in the Premier League, but I feel that the Venezuelan looks more likely to make an impact than the Nigerian ever did. The real question is, however, whether the Albion team around him will give him the service he needs.
The next few months are obviously make or break time and he needs to start finding the net far more regularly if the most memorable thing about his time at the Baggies is something other than the fans’ chant. It definitely is the time to do Rondón, don, don, to do Rondón!