August 6, 2018 / 6:31 PM / 4 months ago

Rondon moves to Newcastle from West Brom in loan swap with Gayle

(Reuters) - Newcastle United completed the season-long loan signing of Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon from West Bromwich Albion on Monday, with forward Dwight Gayle moving in the opposite direction in the same deal.

Rondon, Newcastle’s sixth signing of the close season, scored 10 goals in 40 games in all competitions for West Brom last season as they were relegated from the Premier League.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has been vocal about the club’s need to add fresh faces in the transfer window, was delighted by the capture of Rondon.

“When we were looking for options up front, we knew how important experience would be. Salomon has been in the Premier League for a while and he knows how demanding it is,” he said.

Rondon, 28, said he had been aware of Benitez’s interest in securing his services.

“It’s an honour to be here and I’m excited to get started with my team mates,” added the striker. “The clubs were talking for a long time.”

Gayle, who is 27, played a key part of Newcastle’s return to the top flight in 2017, scoring 23 goals in 32 appearances as the north-east club won promotion.

He found life much harder against Premier League defenders, however, managing only six goals in 37 games last season.

West Brom head coach Darren Moore said Gayle’s track record in the Championship was a key factor in taking him on loan.

“This deal was in the best interests of both clubs,” Moore added. “Dwight is a proven goalscorer in the Championship. He’s quick and sharp off the back of defenders and I believe he will add to our goal threat.”

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris

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