Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie hails Salomon Rondon impact at St James' Park

Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United scores his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on...

The Magpies loanee, on West Brom's books, has impressed for Rafa Benitez's side in their successful battle against Premier League relegation.

Matt Ritchie and Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United battle for the ball with Aaron Lennon and Kevin Long of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Newcastle United...

Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie has credited the signing of Salomon Rondon as something which has made a "huge difference" to the fortunes of the Premier League club in their battle against relegation.

The Venezuela international joined the Magpies last summer from Championship side West Bromwich Albion in a season-long loan swap deal which also involved Dwight Gayle, who headed in the opposite direction.

 

In 32 Premier League appearances for the Tyneside club, Rondon scored 11 goals and registered seven assists (Transfermarkt).

His exploits ultimately helped the club finish a creditable 13th place in the table, a great achievement considering they were still in the thick of it in February.

"I think the second half of the season we’ve been brilliant – as we were last season," Ritchie told the official Newcastle website.

Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United blocks a shot from Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on May 04, 2019...

"Obviously there were a few additions to the team in January, and I think Rondon has made a huge difference to us - not just his goals, but the way we can get up the pitch with him. The second half of the season has been really good."

Although Newcastle live to fight another season in the top flight, a lot of questions will need to be answered this summer, with the club still up for sale and the future of Rafael Benitez still to be resolved.

Rondon is set to return to West Brom once his loan spell expires unless a deal can be sorted out, and even Ritchie himself being linked with a departure from St James' Park, The Sun claiming that Stoke may swoop for him after contract talks reportedly failed between player and club.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United shakes hands with Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park...

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