–Embattled striker looks to brighter times at West Brom
Nigeria striker Brown Ideye is determined to show he is worth every penny of the club-record fee West Bromwich Albion paid for him now that he’s enjoying regular football at the West Midlands club.
Ideye became Albion’s record £10 million signing in July when he joined from Dynamo Kiev but has endured a tough start to life at the Hawthorns.
He is yet to score in the Premier League and visa delays coupled with injury problems blighted his first four months in England.
But the 26-year-old, who started the club’s last two league games, says he wants to reward those fans who stood by him during his challenging spell in the stands.
“It was a tough start but right now I’m happy to be in the first team plans,” Ideye told BBC Sport.
“It’s the worst feeling to be mentally ready and unable to play due to injury, but that’s football.
“Now that I get the chance to make a contribution, it would also be nice to reward those fans who stood by me, the manager and my teammates.”
Ideye has managed just one goal for the club. It came in the League Cup win against Hull City in September – but the player injured himself in the process.
Having put the injury problems and early criticism behind him – and with manager Alan Irvine backing him to break his Premier League duck – the Super Eagle is eager to prove he is no flop.
“I expect people to talk because of the money involved in the transfer but that should not deter me from doing my job as a professional,” he added.
“I’ve been given a big chance by a manager who believes in me. He’s always prepared to back me and as a result I would do the same for him by doing what I know how to do best – score goals.
“There is nothing worse for a player with more to give than being denied the opportunity to give it, now that I get the chance, I have to take it.”
Ideye, who has played in both the Champions League and Europa League, has scored five goals in 24 appearances for Nigeria.
In 2013, he helped his country clinch their third African Cup of Nations title, scoring in the 4-1 semi-final victory over Mali.
A member of their 2010 World Cup squad in South Africa, Ideye was omitted from the Super Eagles squad that reached the second round at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.