WEST Bromwich Albion are delighted to confirm the club-record signing of Venezuela international Salomon Rondon from Zenit St Petersburg.
The 25-year-old striker has been signed on a four-year contract for a fee in the region of £12million.
Rondon arrived at Albion’s training ground late last week and breezed through his medical before becoming the club's fifth signing of the summer.
He has had to wait patiently for his international clearance but has finally been given the go-ahead to begin his career in the Barclays Premier League. He will be eligible for his first match at Watford on Saturday.
Rondon said: “I am very happy to be here.
"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."
Head Coach Tony Pulis is understandably excited at working with a player he believes has already made his mark – but still has much more to give.
“He’s got a fantastic goalscoring record in some of the top leagues in Europe and for his country,” says Pulis. “He’s 25 years of age and still to fulfil 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.”
Pulis had already added James McClean, James Chester and Rickie Lambert before completing the season-long loan signing of Serge Gnabry from Arsenal.
But it is the arrival of Rondon, who has frequently been linked with a move to the Premier League, which will get The Hawthorns buzzing and represents a genuine transfer coup for the Baggies.
He has been a forward of growing reputation since his 2010 move to Malaga to begin a two-year spell which saw him impress in the Champions League, scoring 25 goals in 67 appearances.
That triggered a big-money move to Rubin Kazan and another two-year stay (13 goals in 36 appearances) before Zenit, Russia’s biggest club, snapped up his services. His 20 goals in 37 appearances last season kept his profile high.
Now he has the Premier League chance he has been waiting for.
• Our 10-point guide to the Venezuelan star.
• His first interview – a video exclusive here at wba.co.uk
• Anatomy of a transfer – a brilliant pictorial guide to Rondon’s first day at the club.