Benitez turns to trusted pupil to fill Everton area of need in bargain deal

Date published: Tuesday 31st August 2021 11:51 - Samuel Bannister

Salomon Rondon celebrating goal for Dalian Yifang

Rafael Benitez could reunite with Salomon Rondon again after making him a deadline day target for Everton, according to reports.

Rondon played for Benitez at Newcastle United and then Dalian Yifang. With the Everton boss looking for attacking cover, they could link up for a third time. According to the BBC, Benitez has instructed Everton to pursue a deal for the striker.

Should Dalian Yifang, who loaned Rondon to CSKA Moscow between February and the end of last season, tie up some financial aspects, Everton could sign him on a free transfer.

It could represent useful business for an Everton squad that has been deprived of Moise Kean recently. The Italy international has returned to Juventus to help replace Cristiano Ronaldo.

In addition, Everton signed Joshua King on a short-term deal last season. But he did not get many chances and has subsequently left the club.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains Everton’s first-choice striker, while Richarlison is also a regular goal-getter. But Benitez needs a backup option up front and may have found an ideal one with Rondon.

Rating last season’s deadline day signings in the Premier League

Rondon reunion for Benitez

Turning 32 next month, the Venezuela international is still a useful goalscorer. He scored four goals in 10 Russian Premier League games for CSKA Moscow during his temporary stint there.

His time in China has brought 14 goals from 28 appearances. Previously, he scored 12 in 33 under Benitez at Newcastle, when on loan from West Bromwich Albion.

Everton have made an adequate start to life under Benitez despite the initially divisive reaction to his appointment. Unbeaten from their first three Premier League games, they have also advanced in the Carabao Cup.

To compete on all fronts, they need to have squad depth in key areas, which is why they are looking at a late deal for a striker.

Before Rondon, they were also recently linked with Neal Maupay of Brighton and Odsonne Edouard of Celtic. Although the latter now looks likely to join Crystal Palace.

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