Wednesday 21 February 2018

Ruud words primed Salomon Rondon for Premier League challenge

Striker Salomon Rondon has scored three goals for West Brom this season.
Striker Salomon Rondon has scored three goals for West Brom this season.

West Brom striker Salomon Rondon has revealed how Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Mata helped him prepare for the Premier League.

The £12million forward believes he has got to grips with life in England after learning from former Manchester United striker Van Nistelrooy.

He played with the Dutchman, who scored 95 Premier League goals in 150 appearances, at Malaga before leaving in 2012.

The Baggies signed him after a three-year spell in Russia with Rubin Kazan and Zenit St Petersburg, and the 27-year-old has impressed after also speaking to current United midfielder Mata as they share the same agent - Mata's father.

"I know Juan quite well. When I arrived he told me how good the Premier League was," said the Venezuela international, ahead of Monday's visit of Burnley.

"I saw Ruud when he was training and he is a good person. He spoke to me about football and for my career it was a good experience. He spoke to me about my movement and finishing, he got involved with my learning. He was an influential figure because I learned a lot from him.

"He always said how good the Premier League was and about its traditions."

Rondon has three goals in 12 games for Albion this season and 13 in 52 appearances having adapted to the Premier League and the English language since joining in 2015.

"The league is difficult but now when I play games I feel good. I can do better," he said.

"In Venezuela the football is different, in Spain there are just two or three teams on different levels and in Russia it's the same, four or five teams fight for the title. This league is very competitive. In the last game we won at the champions (a 2-1 win at Leicester).

"I take English lessons at home and I understand it well but when I speak I feel nervous. It's important for me to learn though."

Press Association

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