Salomon Rondon will be a “big” player for Newcastle United – as he’s more than just a goalscorer.
That’s the view of Ki Sung-yueng as Rafa Benitez prepares his team for the club’s visit to Turf Moor.
Rondon – who scored both of Newcastle’s goals in the 2-1 win over Bournemouth before the international break – is back from international duty with Venezuela ahead of Monday night’s game against Burnley. The on-loan striker came off the bench in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against Iran in Qatar.
A cross-field ball from Ki to Kenedy led to Rondon’s second goal against Bournemouth.
And the midfielder says Rondon’s return to form and fitness has lifted the team.
“Everybody knows how Rondon will be a big part of this team,” said Ki.
He holds the ball well, can fight, score goals. If you have striker like him as a midfielder, it gives you confidence. We can have a good partnership.Ki Sung-yueng
“He holds the ball well, can fight, score goals. If you have striker like him as a midfielder, it gives you confidence. We can have a good partnership.
“If he keeps scoring, then it will help the team.”
Rondon powerfully headed Kenedy’s cross past Asmir Begovic.
“It was a beautiful cross from Kenedy – a difficult header from that distance – but I see him do that in training, so I knew he could do it,” said Ki. “It was beautiful goal, Hopefully, we can see more from him. The goalscorer is the most important thing.”
The Bournemouth win followed a 1-0 success over Watford. The wins lifted the club, which hadn’t won any of its first 10 Premier League games, up to 14th in the table.
“If you get wins in games, then you all improve in confidence, for sure,” said Rondon.
“Watford was a big game for us to step up. Now we’ve time to settle down, as we don’t want to get too excited – the season’s still long. We have to concentrate every game.”
Ki didn’t go away with South Korea during the international break.
“I’m not sure if the break will helps us,” said the 29-year-old. “It can help to keep going when you’re starting to win, but maybe it helps us too to take days off think about what we have done well and how we can improve.”