Pulis said: “The kid obviously hasn’t played for a while and to come in to play against the champions elect [was tough]. The two centre-halves would know they’ve been in a game because he’s given them a real good game. He made one [goal] and was involved in the other one. We have to be careful with him because it will take time for him to adjust, but he’s shown some great attributes.”
It is hard to disagree with Pulis’ assessment of Rondon’s performance in the loss, considering his vital role in bringing the Baggies back into the game.
He registered an assist with an overhead kick for James Morrison’s first goal, and his overall play was vital in disrupting the Chelsea back-line. He was the player fouled by John Terry that led to his red card, and his ability to press from the front went a long way to pushing West Brom further up the pitch.
As a lone forward in a 4-1-4-1 system, not much more could have been asked from Rondon, and he managed to play against four defenders by himself without ever looking isolated on the front-line, something that shows the ability of a truly top class centre-forward.
He was unfortunate not to score, but the club record signing looks the perfect player for Pulis’ system, and if he continues to perform like that on a regular basis, it should not be long before Rondon opens his goalscoring account as a West Brom player.