Salomon Rondon reveals what it’s like playing alongside Miguel Almiron at Newcastle United
Miguel Almiron has given Newcastle United a “different dimension”, according to Salomon Rondon.
Almiron inspired the club to a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday on what was his first appearance at St James’s Park.
The midfielder, signed from Atlanta United last month, struck the post and was given a standing ovation when he left the field late in the game.
Benitez fielded a Spanish-speaking front three of Almiron, Rondon and Ayoze Perez against Huddersfield – and two of them were on target.
Rondon opened the scoring 59 seconds into the second half with his seventh Premier League goal of the season, and Perez put the game beyond the visitors – who had Tommy Smith sent off for a lunge at Almiron – in the 52nd minute.
“It’s not all about individuals, but Miguel showed his qualities,” said on-loan striker Rondon.
“It’s a real positive when you’ve got a player like him who likes to run in between the lines.
“He’s always looking to give you that pass, and for a striker, that’s exactly what you want.
“He had that one-on-one with the keeper, and was very unlucky, but the most important thing was the part he played in the team getting three points.”
Rondon is relishing playing alongside Almiron, who could cost the club up to £21million with add-ons.
“It’s important to have options in a team, and he gives us that.
“I’m the lucky one who’s playing, but whether it’s me or Joselu, Ayoze, (Christian) Atsu or whoever, having Almiron behind will give us a different dimension.”
Almiron is still learning to speak English, and the club’s Spanish-speakers are helping him on and off the pitch.
“We were all speaking Spanish together (on the pitch),” said Rondon.
“Miguel’s still struggling to speak English well, and when he does speak, it’s an American kind of English, with different words.
“So it’s better that we speak Spanish, and I tried to help him, talking to him.
“Football is a universal language, it’s the same everywhere, and I think we all felt on the same wavelength.
“Not only were Ayoze and I helping him on the pitch, the gaffer can speak Spanish to him too, so that was a help.”
Rondon, so often isolated up front this season, enjoyed having Almiron and Perez playing so close to him against basement club Huddersfield, who had to retreat after Smith’s 21st-minute dismissal.
“For a long time I played up front on my own, but that’s all right,” said Rondon, signed on loan from West Bromwich Albion last summer in a deal which saw Dwight Gayle loaned to the Championship club.
“I came here to help the team in any way I can.
“If my job was just to hold the ball then I’m happy to do that, to try and play in other team-mates, that’s my role.
“But it was different (against Huddersfield). We had more support, more quality and there were a lot of good players who weren’t even on the bench, like Mo (Diame) and Jonjo (Shelvey), so that competition will drive us forward.”