Salomón Rondón has completed a transfer-deadline day move to Everton from Chinese club Dalian Professional on a free transfer, signing a two-year contract with the option for a third season.
The Venezuelan striker reunites with Blues manager Rafa Benitez following a productive season working with the Spaniard at Newcastle United in 2018/19 and the pair’s time together at Dalian Professional.
In his single St James’ Park campaign – while on loan from the player’s first English club, West Bromwich Albion – Rondón scored 11 goals and provided seven assists from 32 Premier League appearances.
The 31-year-old centre-forward, who has 83 senior caps and a national team record 31 goals for his country, made his professional debut for Aragua FC in Venezuela at the age of 17.
Rondón said: “I’m really glad to be back in the Premier League. It’s a competition I enjoyed playing in and where I felt the fans’ support in every game.
“Defending the colours of a club with a history as rich as Everton’s fills me with pride. I can’t wait to pull on the shirt and be reunited with Rafa Benítez, a coach who has changed the way I understand the game. I’m really grateful for the faith he’s shown in me.”
After starting his career in his homeland with Aragua FC, Rondón played in Spain with Las Palmas and Malaga before spells in Russia with Rubin Kazan and Zenit Saint Petersburg, where he won a league title in 2014/15.
West Brom paid a club-record £12m to sign Rondón in time for the following season and he became the focal point of the Baggies’ attack over three years prior to his loan switch to Newcastle.
While with the Magpies under Benitez, Rondón was quickly installed as a genuine fans’ favourite and claimed the club’s player of the year prize.
He followed the manager to China in the summer of 2019 and netted nine goals and supplied four assists in 14 matches in the 2020 Chinese Super League season.
The player returned to Russia for the closing months of 2020/21, joining CSKA Moscow on loan, scoring four goals and providing two assists in 10 games.59