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Who is West Brom new-boy Brown Ideye?

Sport | Published:

Have West Brom signed the 'new Cyrille Regis?'

While it would be unwise to heap any more pressure on the Baggies' new £10m club record signing Brown Ideye, one look at a YouTube goals compilation video suggests a more than passing resemblance to the legendary Hawthorns powerhouse.

Regis wasn't the tallest – Ideye is similarly 5ft 11 ins - but possessed so much natural power and strength that he was able to outsmuscle defenders.

Ideye, whose goals video is titled the 'Saviour of Dynamo Kiev', looks to be capable of the same.

A scorer of all types of goals, the 25-year-old is blessed with electric pace – something missing from Albion's attack since Romelu Lukaku departed – and shows an ability to hold off opponents in doing so.

And with a record of one goal every other game throughout his career so far, he clearly possesses ice in his veins in front of the net too.

Albion have had a variety of quality strikers in recent years.

Maybe Ideye is not as polished as fellow Nigeria international Peter Odemwingie, as industrious as the hardworking Shane Long or as raw and powerful as Lukaku.

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But the impressive footage show an all-action centre forward capable of combining the qualities of all three, as well as a solid presence in the air too.

Compared to the man Albion also scouted heavily in his position Emmanuel Riviere, who signed for Newcastle for £6m, Ideye represents a much bigger financial risk, something the club has been careful to avoid in the past.

When Ideye moved to Switzerland, he admitted he struggled with the cold weather.

But he became enough of a handful to defenders to earn a move to Ligue 1.

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Newcastle was actually Ideye's preferred destination last summer.

A year ago, he was rated at £9m and Swansea, West Ham and Stoke were chasing his signature.

His agent Hootan Ahmadi said at the time: "There has been a lot of interest from English clubs, but Newcastle would be Brown's preferred choice for a number of reasons.

"They have a good fan-base and play an attacking style of football.

"He has a good knowledge of the club and of the Premier League and Brown would love to test himself at that level."

The eye-catching fee is out of Albion's normal comfort zone and the 25-year-old has signed a three-year contract, plus a further 12- month option in the club's favour.

But judging by his moves so far in his career, this was always going to be a lucrative deal.

Signed by Sochaux from Neuchâtel Xamax for £4m in 2010, he joined Dynamo Kiev for £7m a year later.

And with the striker still to reach his peak, the Ukranian club would only sell for a healthy profit.

The most expensive fee in the club's history also underlines the growing influence of new technical director Terry Burton.

Because while Albion's other signings are relatively more low risk, this is believed to be the first major deal to be rubberstamped by Burton.

He is the man who handpicked Alan Irvine as head coach and now he has pressed the buttons on the costliest transfer in the club's history.

In the coming months, he will be judged on the success of both.

Burton is convinced Ideye will fill the goals void that was missing from the Baggies attack last season, when Saido Berahino and Stephane Sessegnon were the joint top scorer with just five goals.

Burton said: "When I arrived at Albion the recruitment department flagged Brown up as the man at the top of their wishlist.

"It's a fantastic signing because of the quality and the potential of the player.

"He really wants to be here and really wants to be playing in the Premier League.

"He's a dynamic player who likes to get in behind defenders and he has the pace to do so.

"He gets himself into good scoring positions in the box and if there are opportunities, he'll get on the end of them.

"We're looking forward to seeing him play for the club and scoring goals."

Ideye will wear the number shirt and becomes the Baggies' fifth summer signing.

And Ideye, who boasts Champions League experience, arrives with a proven record, having notched 74 goals in 182 career league appearances.

He admitted the price tag may weigh heavily on him but believes he can take the pressure that comes with it.

"I would say there's some pressure yes because it's a big transfer - it's a big thing for me and a pressure," he said.

"But I just have to put that behind me, focus on the game, try to understand everything that's being said to me and work with the team.

"For me the most important thing is to try to win every game, which I know sometimes is difficult. We just have to do it.

"My aim is to score in every game which is what every striker likes to do and I put that challenge on myself, but I will work very hard."

Ideye added: "It feels great. I've been waiting for this moment all my life to be at this club and to play in England.

"So I think it's a great opportunity for me to prove myself and do my best for the team.

"It's a big thing for me to play in the Premier League because every player wants to play in England.

"I just have to be focused and try to do my best in every game.

"It's a big task for me wearing the number nine shirt – it's a lot of pressure on me, but I just have to prove I can do it and make the most of it moving forward.

"Playing alongside my team-mates, we can achieve a lot."

Head coach Alan Irvine said: "Brown is a quality striker and I'm looking forward to working with him.

"He's a strong, quick, powerful player who likes to get in behind defences and has plenty of Champions League and international experience."

Ideye will meet his new team-mates when they return from the club's pre-season training camp in Sacramento, California.

Starting his career in Nigeria with Ocean Boys, he moved to Swiss outfit Neuchâtel Xamax after impressing at the 2007 World Youth Championship.

Although there was a failed trial with Dutch club Willem II, a record of 23 goals in just 55 appearances for Xamax earned him a £4m move to French club Sochaux, where he scored 15 goals, helping them to fifth place in Ligue 1.

During his time with Sochaux, he made his international debut for Nigeria, in a 2-1 defeat against South Korea in August 2010.

After being snapped up by Dynamo Kiev for £7m in July 2011, he netted 12 goals in his first season as they finished as runners-up to Shakhtar Donetsk in a total of 34 goals in 74 league appearances in three seasons there.

In 2013 Ideye helped Nigeria clinch their third Africa Cup of Nations title, scoring in the 4-1 semi-final victory over Mali, one of five goals he has netted for the Super Eagles in 24 caps.

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