Everton fans shouldn’t panic about Salomon Rondon’s slow start - Newcastle United expert explains why

The striker’s performances since arriving have come in for flak from sections of fans .

Everton's victory over Norwich City on Saturday couldn't have been more comfortable.

The Toffees eased to a 2-0 success at Goodison Park to make it four wins in their opening six Premier League matches.

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Goalscorers Abdoulaye Doucoure and Andros Townsend, along with Demarai Gray, Allan and Yerry Mina's performances, all received their deserved plaudits.

Rondon faces flak

But despite Everton moving fifth in the table - level on 13 points with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea - some fans put Salomon Rondon's display under scrutiny.

The striker has been forced to lead the line in the past three games while Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been on the treatment table.

So far, he’s failed to score in four appearances.

And although Rafa Benitez has expressed concerns over Rondon’s fitness, he has come in for criticism from sections of supporters.

The Venezuela international reunited with Benitez for the third time in his career when he arrived on transfer deadline day, having played under the Blues boss at Newcastle United and Chinese outfit Dalian Professional.

Everton boss Rafa Benitez speaks to Salomon Rondon. Picture: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Rondon spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Newcastle from West Brom. He became a fans' favourite on the Toon, netting 11 league goals in 32 games to help the Magpies finish 13th in the table.

And just like at Goodison, his early career in the north east stalled before he showed his prowess.

We spoke to Liam Kennedy from our sister title NewcastleWorld to get the lowdown on Rondon's time at St James' Park and why Evertonians need not panic about his slow start on Merseyside.

First of all, are you surprised Salomon Rondon is coming in for a bit of flak from some Everton fans?

Yes and no. A lot of Newcastle United fans wondered what the club had signed - and why Rafa Benitez was so desperate to move heaven and earth to sign the player - a few weeks after his arrival.

Slowly, though, the fitness began to arrive and so too did the lead-the-line performances.

Patience is a virtue, they say, and I'd maybe urge a little bit of that with the Venezualan at the moment.

Salomon Rondoon in action for Everton against Aston Villa. Picture: Michael Steele/Getty Images

I will caveat that, however, with the notion that Rondon has been in the retirement league in China, where levels will have undoubtedly dropped.

He, of course, had a spell in Russia in between. At 32, can he drop it all and pick things up as easily these days? Only time will tell.

When did he get up to speed at Newcastle and was there a specific game when the penny dropped?

November 10, 2019. That was the day things fell into place.

A Kenedy cross from the left and a booming header at the Leazes End saw Rondon net his second of the day against Bournemouth, having opened his Premier League account earlier that day.

It was an Alan Shearer-like performance - and from that day on there was no turning back for Rondon, as he netted 11 in the league, 12 in total that season.

Salomon Rondon celebrates scoring for Newcastle against Bournemouth. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

When Rondon is match fit, what will he bring to Everton?

He is a proper No.9. He leads the line, can tie up a whole backline with his physicality and can score goals.

Rondon is a beast in the air and as long as he has runners around him, and players to deliver, he will add value to any Premier League squad, in my opinion.

I'll not be alone in feeling envious that Everton signed Rondon, as Newcastle United could have done with another striker to aid Callum Wilson. But, where Rafa goes...

What is the reason behind Rafa Benitez's admiration for the striker? This is the third time they've worked together.

It took Benitez a long time to get Rondon at Newcastle and it's almost like he's tried to hang on to him ever since.

He only signed for United on loan after the club's hierarchy refused to pay his £16 million release fee at West Brom.

It turned out to be false economy, as he became a firm favourite among his team-mates, the managerial staff and the fans, who saw Rondon as the best thing up top since Demba Ba.

Benitez values football intelligence and players who can take on board orders, implement his in-game plans and learn and progress as footballers. Rondon does all of these things.

Rafa Benitez with Salomon Rondon. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Has Rondon got the ability to help Everton maintain their fine start and perhaps push them towards a Europa League finish?

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the main man and then there's Richarlison, too. So Rondon is only ever going to be needed to fill in for either of those two.

He is more than capable of that.

With a consistent run of games, Rondon of old proved he can hit double figures in the top flight - and there aren't too many clubs in Everton's position who have those kind of riches in reserve.

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