Player Watch: Salomon Rondon
José Salomón Rondón Giménez (born 16 September 1989) is a Venezuelan professional footballer who plays for English club, Aston Villa in the EE Premier League.
Born in Caracas, Rondón made his debut in the Venezuelan first division at the age of 17, appearing for Aragua FC against Carabobo FC on 8 October 2006. On 8 April of the following year he scored his first goal(s) for the club, in a 2–2 draw against Caracas FC.
In the summer of 2008 Rondón was signed by UD Las Palmas in Spain, and made his official debut on 5 October in a 1–2 away loss against Deportivo Alavés for the second division championship. Almost one year after his arrival, on 2 September 2009, he netted his first goal, in a Copa del Rey match against Cádiz CF becoming the youngest foreign player to ever score for the club, at the age of 19 years, 11 months and 17 days and finished the 2009–10 season with ten goals in 36 games, as the Canary Islands side barely avoided relegation.
On 19 July 2010, Málaga CF signed Rondón for a record transfer fee of €3.5 million. He scored his first goal for the Andalusians exactly two months later, in a 1–2 home defeat against Sevilla FC in La Liga. Four days later, he opened the score in a 2–0 win at Getafe CF, adding a third the following week in a 2–3 home loss to Villarreal CF.
In August 2012 Rondón signed for Russian Premier League team FC Rubin Kazan, for a reported fee of €10 million which made him the most expensive Venezuelan player in history. He made his league debut on the 12th in a 2–0 home win over FC Dynamo Moscow, and he scored his first goal against FC Terek Grozny on 1 September, albeit in a 1–2 home defeat.
Rondon in his Ruban days
On 10 March 2013, following the winter break in the Russian Premier League, Rondón scored the only goal of the game as Rubin claimed a home victory over reigning champions FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. In continental competition, he opened up the scoring in the 100th minute of the round-of-16 clash against Levante UD, latching on to a cross from Bibras Natkho as the hosts won it 2–0 in that game and on aggregate.
On 31 January 2014, Rondón joined fellow league club Zenit Saint Petersburg for a fee believed to be around the area of £15.8 million. He played his first game for his new team on 25 February, scoring in an eventual 2–1 away win against Borussia Dortmund for the UEFA Champions League's round of 16 second-leg (4–5 aggregate defeat).
On 6 April 2014, again as a second-half substitute, Rondón helped to a 6–2 home demolition of former team Rubin, scoring three goals. On 20 September he added another three, in a 5–0 win at FC Rostov.
Rondón made his first appearance in the UEFA Europa League against Inter Milan, and he scored once in a 2–2 group stage away draw, also playing the entire match. In the second game between the two sides he netted a brace in the final three minutes, helping his team to a 3–0 win.
Rondon then moved to Tottenham in the 2015/16 season for a reported £15m and in the one season where Spurs did awful he bagged 25 goals and a move at the end of the season to Aston Villa.
Rondon is now into his second season at Aston Villa and with 17 goals in season one and already 23 goals in 32 appearances this season he is already turning into the ideal signing for McGrath, proving it will be £39.5m well spent.