WBA’s record buy, Brown Ideye…. Money well spent?

After a spell of struggling to add quality to a team undergoing reconstruction, Barclays Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on Friday night announced the capture of a new club Number 9.

This indeed was a major coup as the deal was under wraps till the announcement of Nigerian international, Brown Ideye on a club-record fee from Ukrainian giants, Dynamo Kyiv.

The signing of Ideye, who at 25 has already played in three different leagues in Europe before this move to arguably the most followed league in the World, might come as a surprise to many but for those that were aware of the player's hallmark attributes, it is certainly one according to the scripts in the making of a potential cult hero, not only in the West Midlands but in major territories of the footballing world.

For those that know next to nothing about West Brom's new jewel, you may have been disappointed to find out that he didn't make the cut for Nigeria's final squad to this summer's World Cup but many back home in Nigeria are of the strong belief that Nigeria might probably have done better than they did at the Mundial if Brown Ideye had been on the plane to Brazil. Does that say something about the importance of a player?

Games man

Ideye has played 249 professional football matches, twenty-one in Nigeria and 228 in Europe.

Ocean Boys

Not much is known about Ideye’s times in Nigeria with Ocean Boys as most websites put his appearances at 5 and 1 goal in his time at Ocean Boys.

But Ideye was a cult hero of some sorts when he played for the Yenagoa based side before joining up with the country’s Under 20 side.

Ideye played 21 games for Ocean Boys and scored 8 goals in all competitions.

European adventure

After the World Cup in 2007, he signed for Neuchatel Xamax in Switzerland where he played 107 times, then he moved to Sochaux in France and made 58 appearances for them before crossing over to Kiev with Dynamo where he played 107 times.

Goals man

Ideye has scored 105 professional League goals spanning over seven years and four clubs.

He scored 8 goals for Ocean Boys in Nigeria, 30 goals for Xamax Neuchatel, 22 for French side, Sochaux and 45 for Dynamo.

He has scored in equal proportion with his right foot, his left and with his head.

With a goals return of one every other game, when you are not Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Luis Suarez, it is excellent.

Best Position

In the center of attack. He always wants to lead the lines though is comfortable on the left or right and even behind the striker.

At Ocean Boys in Nigeria he led the lines, and it was the same at Xamax, Sochaux and Dynamo

But at the national team, the coach, preferred Emmanuel Emenike and all other attackers played for Emenike to score.

Where he wants his ball

Brown Ideye has been asked before, where he wants the ball when receiving a pass- at his feet or on the run?

“I’m a runner. That’s what I learned at the national team so if I get the ball on the run, I will always get to it and do what I have to do, but every striker, especially in the box wants the ball at their feet so I am not different in that regard.

“Sometimes when I am in the box, I like a cross in the air so I can head home.”

Right or left

The question every striker is asked- which is your stronger foot? The right or the left?

“I use both well, but if I am forced to say which is stronger, it has to be the right one.”

Aerial prowess

Between scoring with his feet and head, the ratio has been fifty- fifty. If the crosses come in, he will hit target with his head, more often than not. With the Nigerian national team he won more than 80% of aerial duels he engaged in.


Ideye's strengths lie in his personality. He is a true gentleman, selfless, hard worker and a real professional.
who trusts in his God and always believes whatever happens to him comes from Him alone.

Brown's work ethics especially on the pitch has always won him admirers at every club he has played for and I'm sure it is only a matter of time before Albion fans fall into the same category.

He is a natural attacker but his versatility and ability to help out in key tactical play for the team has often seen him being used as either striker, support striker or a wide man. The fact that he has a trick or two in his feet gives him the ability to ease past defenders and makes it easy for him to adapt quickly to any position and despite not having the biggest of frames.

Brown has an astonishing statistic of having won 87% of aerial duels in the colours of Nigeria.

Apart from goal scoring which is his forte, he also helps in defending set-pieces and then joins the attack in a counter.

“At the national team, Keshi made me a runner. When we attacked I was in front with the ball and when we didn’t have the ball I was behind to help out.”

His goal scoring rate with the national team was poor, but this was because he never led the lines.

“Because of the style we played at the Eagles, I didn’t get too many goals but it helped me at my club because I did less running there and on return from the national team, my mates and coaches always saw the difference in my play.”

What also works for him apart from his intelligence which takes him close to former Albion star Kanu, is his pace.

While taking on defenders, Ideye makes use of a deadly change of pace which often leaves defenders in his wake.

Another major significant strength of his is his fitness. Brown has little or no history on the injury front and despite not having the bulky stature of, say, a Victor Anichebe, you can underestimate his strength at your own peril.

In addition, he is good at dead-ball situations and as a matter of fact, he is a penalty specialist who is very comfortable on both feet.

How he plays

Like stated above, Ideye likes to play in the center of attack. With the likes of Berahino and Anichebe in the team, the coaches will be left to decide how they want to shape their team.

If he is played in the center of attack, the will guarantee goals like his records at Neuchatel, Sochaux and Dinamo show; if he is played wide, the center man will benefit from his as he has a good assist rate too.

In his professional career, aside from his time at Ocean Boys, Brown Ideye has had 35 assists and this is from 228 games.

Disciplinary record

Ideye has been sent off 3 times in club football.

Twice he received straight red cards and once it was for a second bookable offence.

But off the pitch, he is the perfect gentleman.

In his three seasons at Kiev, he was never involved in any off the pitch scandal like drunk driving, late night partying or any action that would have brought the name of the club to disrepute.

International football

He has played 23 games for the Super Eagles and scored 5 times, all 5 of his goals coming in 2013.

He also featured five times for Nigeria’s under-20 team at the World Cup in Canada, scoring once.

Trophy count

Ideye has only won two trophies in his football career, the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in 2013, where he scored once in the 4-1 semifinal win over Mali and the Ukrainian Cup with Dynamo Kiev in the 2013/14 football season.

Another misconception is people thinking he won trophies at Ocean Boys… Ideye joined Ocean Boys just after they won the Nigerian League and left them before they won the FA Cup.

Have West Bromwich Albion signed a record striker they will be proud off? Time will tell.

And as they say at the West Midlands, Boing! Boing!!

Additional reports by Fisayo Dairo and www.transfermarkt.com
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