West Bromwich Albion signed Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon from Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg for a club-record fee of $18.6 million, the club announced Monday.
Rondon has spent the past three years in Russia, playing for Rubin Kazan and Zenit St. Petersburg. Last season he scored 13 league goals in 26 games. WBA manager Tony Pulis spoke to wba.co.uk and was very pleased with his new signing.
“He’s got a fantastic goalscoring record in some of the top leagues in Europe and for his country,” said Pulis. “He’s 25 years of age and still to fulfill his full potential.
“We hope he hits the ground running of course but understand it might take him time to settle. I’m sure our fans will help him and get behind him.
“But we feel with age on his side and the prices English clubs are asking for their players, it’s a deal worth doing.
“He comes highly recommended. I have spoken to Manuel (Pellegrini) and AVB (Andre Villas-Boas), who have worked with him, and they were full of praise for the lad. We are looking forward to working with him.”
The 25-year-old Venezuelan international has 13 goals in 39 caps for his country. Rondon signed a four-year contract with the club and will be eligible to play against Watford on Saturday. Rondon also spoke to the club’s website after the deal was final.
“I am very happy to be here,” said Rondon. “This is a new opportunity in my career. I can’t wait to be with the other players and to play. The club showed a lot of interest in me, that’s what is important for a player, what you take into account, and there are expectations of me.”
The signing of Rondon has spurred on rumors that young star striker Saido Berahino could be on his way out.