Salomon Rondon makes frank fitness admission after subdued start to his Everton career

The former Newcastle striker has been forced to omit himself from international duty with Venezuela because of his struggles.

Salomon Rondon has admitted his fitness has been 'really affected' after being thrown into the Everton deep end.

The striker has opted against linking up with Venezuela during the ongoing international break.

What's been said?

In a post on Instagram (via Mail Online), Rondon doesn't feel he would be able to give 100% for the South American country for upcoming games with Ecuador and Peru.

Rondon said: “It’s difficult to put such strong feelings into words. For me, my national team isn’t about a moment or an opportunity, it’s my place, my flag, my heart.

Salomon ondon celebrates scoring for Venezuela. Picture: MIGUEL GUTIERREZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“It hurts every time I’m not able to join up with the team and it’s very difficult for me to watch from afar. But I have to be honest with myself and the shirt I love and value so dearly.

“I don’t currently feel that I’m at the level I’d like to be at to allow me to perform to 100 per cent and defend my country’s colours as it deserves.

“My last-minute move to England, not having had a pre-season and the run of games I played really affected me and have put me in this situation.

“I want to get my fitness up to 100% to allow me to perform to my best, which is what you’ve always seen from me, and soon be able to pull on the Vinotinto shirt that I love so dearly and that I have no doubt my teammates will go all out to defend in the two matches ahead of us.

“Although I’m watching from afar, my heart is there, with the squad.”

Background

Reuniting with Rafa Benitez for the third time in his career, the Toffees had hoped to be patient with Rondon and gradually build him towards match fitness.

However, injuries to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison meant Rondon was forced to start six successive matches as the only senior centre-forward.

Salomon Rondon has struggled at Everton so far. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The former Newcastle marksman has failed to score, though, and his underwhelming performances resulted in him receiving flak from sections of supporters.

With Richarlison now back available, Rondon has been on the bench for the past two games and was an unused substitute in Sunday’s goalless draw against Tottenham.