Martinez hails ‘phenomenal’ hat-trick hero Kone

Rob Conlon
Arouna Kone: Striker put Sunderland to sword with hat-trick

Roberto Martinez says Arouna Kone is the perfect role model for young players after the Ivorian struck a hat-trick in the 6-2 defeat of Sunderland

Kone’s first hat-trick in English football was just reward for the players’ perseverance after a serious knee injury affected the first two years of his career at the club having followed Martinez from Wigan.

The Ivorian, who was booed by his own fans when he came off the bench in the opening game of the season, was due to be out of contract in the summer but he has now triggered an appearance-based clause which entitles him to extend for a further 12 months.

“It has been as difficult as you can get. It was a career-threatening injury,” said Martinez.

“His attitude, his focus, never changed and he never chose to blame anyone and anything. Against Watford, in difficult circumstances, it was a real turning point and from that point on he has been very impressive.

“Today was the most complete 90 minutes he has had and it was a phenomenal 90 minutes because it triggers an extension to his contract. He is a sensational example to any young footballer facing adversity.”

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