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Salomon Rondon finding his voice as West Brom reap the benefit

Published 22/11/2016

West Brom goalscorers James Morrison and Salomon Rondon celebrate together on Monday night
West Brom goalscorers James Morrison and Salomon Rondon celebrate together on Monday night

West Brom boss Tony Pulis believes breaking down the language barrier is helping Salomon Rondon to express himself both on and off the pitch.

The Venezuela international striker enjoyed a solid first season in the Premier League, scoring 10 goals following his £12million arrival from Zenit St Petersburg in the summer of 2015, but struggled with his grasp of English - relying heavily on fellow Spanish-speaking South American Claudio Yacob.

Rondon rounded off a superb individual performance against Burnley on Monday night with the final goal, his fourth of the campaign, in West Brom's 4-0 win and Pulis thinks feeling more at home has played a big part in the 27-year-old coming good on his potential.

"Last year was a bit of a struggle for Salomon as he couldn't speak much English," said Pulis, "but he understands the language more now and it's made him become a bigger part of the group.

"Before he would just follow Yac (Argentinian Claudio Yacob) around all the time for him to translate as he was worried about not understanding everyone.

"But he's a good player and he's certainly upped his game from last season. Obviously he wants to score every week, not just play well, and it's lovely to see him score."

Rondon's goal followed first-half strikes from Matt Phillips, James Morrison and Darren Fletcher as West Brom equalled their biggest victory under Pulis, who was quick to stress that the victory was a collective effort.

"It's really about the team performance, though," he said. " Having Brunty (Chris Brunt) and Mozza (Morrison) back has obviously helped us because they are good technical players who look after the ball so well.

"I'm pleased for Fletch to have got his goal. He takes on a huge burden as captain of Scotland and Albion but he handles it superbly."

Sean Dyche's 50th Premier League match as Burnley boss was not one to remember and he is beginning to think The Hawthorns might hold some sort of hoodoo over him.

Dyche said: "I broke my leg here aged 17 as a youngster at Nottingham Forest and I've never had any luck here since.

"It's one of the only grounds I've never got anything at and it's always at the back of my mind, it's hard to get out of your head.

"It was a really below-par performance from us and w e've got to learn how to take our performances at home on the road - the mentality of it.

"The games come thick and fast and we can't shy away from it and we have to improve vastly from that performance when we play Manchester City at the weekend, that's for sure."

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