Salomon Rondon hits back after joining Rafa Benitez in China
Salomon Rondon says he forged a “special” relationship with Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United.
Rondon scored 11 Premier League goals for the club last season, then managed by Benitez, while on loan from West Bromwich Albion.
The striker has been reunited with Benitez at Dalian Yifang.
Benitez joined the Chinese club earlier this month after leaving Newcastle when his contract expired on June 30.
“It’s an employment relationship, obviously, between coach and player, but I can say with total confidence that it’s not very common for a coach to take you to one team and the next year to take you to another,” Rondon told BeIN Sports.
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“Usually, that doesn’t happen. Of course, we’re talking about Rafa Benitez, a coach who has managed and won in all the places he has been. For me, it’s something very special. For any player, I think, it would be. He knows what I’m capable of in a year – I showed it to him.
Rondon silenced those who questioned him last season.
“Maybe I could also shut up many mouths that said the Premier League was not for me after what happened to West Brom with relegation,” said the 29-year-old. “It was time to look for another way.
“I did not give up, I tried to do my best, and things went well. I stress again that it’s what brings me here today. The truth is I'm very happy to be here, obviously thanking Benitez for the support again and the confidence he gave me last year in Newcastle and now bringing me here."