Salomon Rondon probably aches a bit this morning.

The striker was in a battle last night, fighting for every ball with either Ben Mee or James Tarkowski. The Burnley defenders couldn’t deal with Rondon’s brute strength, with the number nine winning his fair share of duels.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

He held the ball up brilliantly, putting in the perfect defensive forward performance.

The 29-year-old’s goals have been key this season, but his performance on Tuesday night showed how valuable he is without scoring. He barely had a sniff of goal, bar a few decent crosses into the box, but still he impressed the St James’ Park crowd.

Rafa Benitez wants a striker who can offer something even when he doesn’t score, and the West Brom loanee does exactly that.

(Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)

Rondon doesn’t need to score to play well

There is no substitute for hard work. Newcastle fans appreciate that from Rondon.

Playing up front on your own can be a thankless task, but he thrives in the role. He bullied the Burnley defenders, relieving the pressure off of our back five.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

He becomes more and more valuable every game he plays. Mike Ashley must see the importance of Rondon and sign him up permanently in the summer.

Rafa wants him, and so do the fans.

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