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Friday 9 December 2016

Rondon battling to be ready

Published 14/08/2015 | 13:53

West Brom's record signing Salomon Rondon was unveiled at The Hawthorns on Monday
West Brom's record signing Salomon Rondon was unveiled at The Hawthorns on Monday

Salomon Rondon faces a race against time to make his West Brom debut as the £12million man battles for fitness.

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The Baggies' record buy has been training this week after his switch from Zenit St Petersburg was rubber-stamped on Monday.

Albion go to Watford in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday with Baggies boss Tony Pulis running the rule over Rondon's fitness, along with that of Arsenal loanee Serge Gnabry.

The pair could make the trip to Vicarage Road with Pulis hopeful his new boys will be available.

"He's done very well," Pulis said of Rondon.

"Him and Gnabry have spent a lot of time working with the fitness coach.

"But Salomon has showed a great attitude, he's a great lad and we've been impressed with him. He reminds me a little bit of Demba Ba in the way he wants to run off shoulders and is quick and strong.

"He is that type. He has got that willingness to get to where you want him to be, which is in behind defences.

"They have worked hard in the last week or so, the two of them, and I will assess it with the medical team to see if they're ready, if not to start then for the bench."

Gareth McAuley is also available after a calf injury ruled him out of Monday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

The Baggies are looking to recover from their opening defeat, where Pulis admitted he got his tactics wrong, a nd they head to the Hornets with the boss braced for a tough opening.

He said: "The first four games of the season are very difficult for us.

"To have Man City and Chelsea as the two home games to start with is very difficult, then to play a newly promoted team on their first home game is tough. Then we have a derby with Stoke.

"The transfer window is still going on and things are going on behind the scenes so these four games are always going to be difficult.

"Watford have signed some good players from abroad and they look strong, they look as if they have brought good players into the country."

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