The Venezuelan international moved to St James’ Park on loan from West Bromwich Albion last summer after a protracted transfer saga and he has been worth the wait, netting his ninth Premier League goal of the season with a stunning free-kick against Bournemouth last time out.
Apart from his goals, Rondon has given Newcastle a much-needed presence in attack while helping the get the best out of a talented yet inconsistent supporting cast including Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie.
Clark, who had two spells at his boyhood club, believes Newcastle should jump at the chance to sign the former Zenit and Malaga striker permanently with the striker set to be available for £16 million.
“If Rafa isn’t allowed to sign Rondon outright, I dread to think what will happen,” said Clark.
“Newcastle would be back to square one. Is £16m a lot of money for a player of his age? In today’s market, it’s nothing.
“Good strikers are like gold dust. I was fortunate enough to play with Les Ferdinand and Rondon reminds me of him.
“They’re both swashbuckling centre forwards, who hold the ball up well and provide a focal point for their teammates.”
Whether owner Mike Ashley will permit Rafa Benitez to keep hold of Rondon remains to be seen. Ashley famously favours signing younger players with a potential re-sale value and the South American target man will turn 30 this year.
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