Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez must not think twice about fielding Salomon Rondon against Arsenal.
At the moment the Spanish tactician is mulling over the idea due to the striker’s international exertions.
Rondon was in Miami until the early hours of Wednesday morning, after scoring a brace against Panama.
Benitez is known for refraining from using players who have had to travel long distances on international duty.
But the dilemma is that Rondon – valued at £11.7m by Transfermarkt – appears to be coming into some good form.
Before his two goals for Venezuela, he scored for the Magpies against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, and assisted DeAndre Yedlin’s goal against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
‘It’s a difficult decision’
Speaking about the situation, Benitez said, as quoted by Chronicle Live: “This period is quite difficult. Atsu is back now and was training on Tuesday and then on Wednesday we have a couple more problems but DeAndre and Rondon will come late. It will be difficult for us because sometimes they come to us and they say ‘I’m fine’. But they can be tired. Rondon played in Miami.
“In the end it’s a difficult decision. I remember when I was at Valencia and four players were called for international duty and they came back. We had a difficult game and I was asking them before the game: ‘Are you fine?’ They said yes but if I could make four substitutions after two minutes I would!”
Rondon would bully Mustafi and Sokratis
Benitez has to hope Rondon is feeling good in himself, because Arsenal have two centre-backs there for the taking.
Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis have looked an extremely shaky pairing for the Gunners so far.
The duo do not deal particularly well with physical battles.
And that is Rondon in a nutshell. He could experience a fair amount of joy by getting aggressive around them.
The on-loan West Brom man relishes battling with opponents.
There’s a real chance Newcastle could muster their first win of the season if Rondon plays in this particular game.