Salomon strikes are jus­ti­fy­ing for Ben­itez

Sunday Sun - - Football -

RAFA Ben­itez be­lieves Salomon Rondon has un­der­lined why he was top of his wanted list in the sum­mer.

The striker’s two goals handed United three points against Bournemouth to make it back-to-back wins.

Rondon ar­rived from West Bromwich Al­bion on loan in the sum­mer with Dwight Gayle head­ing the other way for a sea­son.

Ben­itez said: “When we signed Rondon, we were talk­ing about a striker who could win in the air, could hold the ball and at the same time have some mo­bil­ity.

“He’s dif­fer­ent to Ay­oze, Muto or Joselu and that is good news for us be­cause we have dif­fer­ent op­tions we can man­age de­pend­ing on the games.

“He did re­ally well, and still he can im­prove his match fit­ness – that will be by play­ing games – but if he con­tin­ues train­ing hard in train­ing ses­sions, he will be bet­ter and bet­ter.

“He’s not very fast, but he’s quite strong and as I said be­fore, still he can im­prove.

“If we con­tinue train­ing nor­mally, I think he will be a lit­tle bit bet­ter phys­i­cally and it will give him more chances in be­hind de­fend­ers.”

The deal to bring Rondon to Ty­ne­side re­sulted in sev­eral hours of hard work be­hind the scenes by Ben­itez as well as him sac­ri­fic­ing Gayle to the Hawthorns.

He said: “We signed him be­cause we knew about the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the player, we knew about his men­tal­ity and we knew that he could give us some­thing dif­fer­ent.

“But it’s not that he was the num­ber one pri­or­ity be­cause of that.

“If you were ask­ing me if I would sign Alan Shearer now and pay £50mil­lion, I would do it.”

When asked if Rondon’s bul­let header in the first half

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