Rafa Benitez has praised Salomón Rondón following the striker's display in Newcastle United's win against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The Magpies recorded just their second victory of the season, beating the Cherries 2-1 to give the St James' Park crowd a satisfying afternoon. Rondón scored two goals in the first half, which were enough to earn Newcastle the win despite a reply from Jefferson Lerma before half time.

Benitez hailed his team for their performance, taking special note of Rondón's impact, whom he is confident will get better with each coming game.

"I’m very pleased," the Newcastle manager is quoted as saying by Teamtalk.

"We have to give credit to our players for fighting for every ball against a good team. We scored two great goals and had chances on the counter. In the end the situation is much better for us now.


"When we signed Rondon we were looking for a striker good in the air who can hold the ball up well. He did really well but there’s more to come.

"He’s very strong. He will get better physically through more games and more training sessions. I’m very pleased with him.

"We knew about the conditions to sign him. For this price to get a striker of his level was not easy. We knew about his mentality and knew he could give us something different."

Inheriting Newcastle's number nine jersey following his move from West Brom in the summer was always going to put the pressure of Toon legend Alan Shearer on his shoulders and Rondón's second goal at St James' Park brought comparisons between him and the Premier League's greatest goalscorer.

Benitez acknowledged that although matching Shearer will be near impossible, Rondón can enjoy more goals like his header if he gets good distribution.


"To go close to Shearer here will be very difficult – almost impossible. But if the delivery is good – and it was – Rondon can score these types of goals."