West Bromwich Albion hitman Brown Ideye looked moments away from leaving the Hawthorns for Qatar in a cut-price deal in the January transfer window after just half a season with the Midlands club, according to the Mirror.
West Brom were on the brink of taking a £6m loss on a player they signed for a club-record £10m just six months earlier. But after a deal for West Ham United striker Carlton Cole fell through, Ideye’s move to the Middle East never materialised. Instead, the Nigerian international stayed and has started to flourish under the new management of Tony Pulis, scoring an impressive four times in his last three league and cup outings.
His newfound form has been a remarkable turn around in fortunes for the 26-year-old, who had previously only managed two goals all season. Ideye looks like a different player all together, he seems to have found a new lease of life at Albion, and how much of that does he owe to his new boss Pulis?
Ideye undoubtedly struggled under Alan Irvine and the fact West Brom were willing to let him go for just £3.8m spoke volumes of how little impact the former Dynamo Kiev man had made in the Premier League. But the bottom line is he stayed, and the Baggies boss has got a superb track record of getting the very best out of his players.
Ideye believed that Tony Pulis has saved his career, he told talkSPORT in a recent interview; “I didn’t really have that much playing time when Alan was here,” Ideye said.
“This time is really different because I have more time and more of a role to play, holding the ball up is what I am good at. The way Tony wants me to play suits my game. Right now, I’m just in the right place. He likes strikers to work hard even if you don’t score.
He added; “I guess I’ve not started playing football [for West Brom] the way I know how to play it. I’ve played for several clubs and they can testify how I can play. Confidence comes with scoring and I’m at that point now that each goal lifts my confidence and scoring goals for me in every game is a good thing as a striker.”
Pulis, who inherited a squad that he wasn’t entirely pleased with when taking over, did a lot of chopping and changing in the January transfer window, getting rid of the deadwood and bringing in his own players.
Ideye’s recent purple patch in front of goal has lifted the Baggies up to 14th in the Premier League table, and fired them into an FA Cup quarter-final. The Nigerian netted twice in Albion’s impressive 4-0 triumph over West Ham United in round five.
Ideye is now starting to prove why West Brom forked out £10m to Dynamo Kiev for his services. It may have taken the forward a long time to settle into his new surroundings, but now the confidence is flowing, the Baggies look like they have found themselves a more than capable striker in Brown Ideye.