Everton have completed the signing of Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon on a free transfer from Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional.

As confirmed by the club’s official website, Everton have secured the signing of former Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon from Chinese club Dalian Professional on a Bosman move.

The 31-year-old is a player that Everton manager Rafael Benitez knows very well. The Spaniard signed Rondon on loan at Newcastle for one season and the striker flourished under his guidance. So much so that, he followed Benitez to China after the current Everton boss stepped down from his Newcastle job and took over at Dalian Pro in 2019.

During his time in China, Rondon featured just 28 times before coronavirus wreaked havoc in the country. In those appearances, the Venezuelan international managed to score 14 goals and set up seven more. The striker then spent a short time on loan with CSKA Moscow earlier this year before returning to Dalian.

With the financial pull of the Chinese Super League becoming non-existent after the pandemic, it was always likely that Rondon would be on the move.

Benitez’s arrival at Everton sparked rumours of a reunion at Goodison Park in early August. And, as it turned out, the pair are now set to work together at a third club, with Rondon joining the Toffees on a free transfer. The Venezuelan national team’s record goalscorer has signed a two-year contract with the Merseyside outfit with an option for an additional year.

Speaking after the completion of the deal, Rondon 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.”

Rondon becomes the fifth signing of the summer transfer window for Everton. The Toffees have already brought in Andros Townsend, Demarai Gray, and two goalkeepers in Asmir Begovic and Andy Lonergan. The 31-year-old arrives as a direct replacement for Moise Kean, who left Everton earlier on the transfer deadline day to return to former club Juventus.

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