By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Record signing Brown Ideye has told West Bromwich Albion fans he is ready to start – and revealed Hawthorns old-boy Kanu has mentored him over his Premier League move.
Super Eagles striker,Ideye, who switched from Dynamo Kiev for £10m this summer, made his long-awaited Baggies debut in Saturday’s goalless draw at Southampton and almost found the net in spectacular style.
Now he is hoping for his first Albion start after receiving tips from former African Footballer of the Year, Kanu, who made 58 appearances during a two-year stint at The Hawthorns.
“I spoke with Kanu, once or twice the same week,” said Ideye. “He’s a great guy, www.expressandstar reports on Monday.
“He just told me to be myself and try to do my best on the pitch and he told me to score goals so hopefully the fans and the club would be behind me.
“He just told me to give my best in every game and try to get my head down and listen to what the manager has to say and what my fellow players are telling me. So I pray for the best.”
Ideye almost opened his account for his new club after a skilful second-half turn, only to be denied by Fraser Forster’s excellent save.
He said: “It would have been good for me to score a goal because I have always scored on my debut at each club, but on Saturday it was different.
“The goalkeeper was out very quickly and before I could lift my head I saw him coming and he made a great save.”
Ideye will be joined in England next month by his wife and two young sons and he has thanked fans, team-mates and boss Alan Irvine for helping him settle in.
“The manager is a great guy who talks to me every day,” he said.
“It’s difficult to find a manager who talks to you every session and tries to encourage you and tell you about what he knows you can improve on.
“After the game on Saturday he can have more confidence in me and believe I can play every week.
“The players and fans have given me all their support and waited for me to get on the pitch and play and on Saturday I went on and gave my best, so I believe they will be happy for me.”
Ideye missed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after he was inexplicably dropped by coach Stephen Keshi.