–West Brom ready to throw Ideye in at the deep end on Saturday
West Brom are ready to plunge £10million record signing Nigeria international Brown Ideye in at the deep end in Saturday’s Premier League curtain-raiser against Sunderland – despite his lack of match fitness.
The striker joined from Dynamo Kiev last month but barely featured in pre-season after his move was held up by red tape.
He scored twice in Tuesday’s behind-closed doors friendly with Nottingham Forest, enough to convince boss Alan Irvine he is in reasonable shape.
The Scot has revealed he had just 13 outfield players available to train on Tuesday, claiming that was a relative “luxury.”
We’re going to have to put people in our squad who haven’t done as much of a pre-season as I would have liked,” said Irvine, who is most likely to start Ideye on the bench.
“Brown was ahead of where we thought he might be, which is great news.
“Hopefully he can play some part on Saturday, as can some of the others who have missed pre-season.
“Brown is enthusiastic. He seems like a good lad, a good type.I’m hoping he will prove to be ahead of where we anticipated he would be.”
Costa Rican wide player Cristian Gamboa is yet to receive international clearance, while another key summer signing, Joleon Lescott, and James Morrison are among those certain to miss out through injury.
Meanwhile, the Baggies have been drawn at home to Sky Bet League Two outfit Oxford United in the Capital One Cup second round. The tie will be played on the week commencing Monday, August 25.