Club News

Clarke calls for Anichebe to step up

And boss says striker will add 'brawn' to attack and ease burden on Long

STEVE Clarke has called for ‘big things’ from new signing Victor Anichebe as he looks for the striker to add the ‘brawn’ to his attack.

The 25-year-old hitman parted company with Everton – the club he joined as a schoolboy - for a fresh challenge at The Hawthorns on transfer deadline day.

And Clarke insists it is time for Anichebe to step out of the Goodison Park shadows and shine for the Baggies in the Barclays Premier League.

"The challenge for Victor is the fact it's his first move away from his boyhood club,” said the Albion chief.

“He's Everton through and through, he's starting on another big adventure which is to go to a different club and put his talent out there.

"Sometimes when you're the boy who has come through the ranks and there's a selection choice to be made between a big signing and a boy who has come through you can always side a little bit with the big signing.

“But now, Victor is the signing. He's the big name and we're looking for big things from him.”

Clarke also hopes the Nigeria international can ease the burden on Shane Long in leading the line for Albion.

“We've got to put Victor under a little bit of pressure because now, he is a striker that can lead the line,” he added.

“He's a strong boy, he can play off either side, he gives us really good options and he's a little bit different to what we've got.

“He's big, strong and powerful. You can see that in training.

"He'll be sharing that responsibility with Shane. Shane has proven over the years he can do that role.

"Victor comes into help Shane and lessen the load on him.

“Those two are the frontline strikers who can play that way to lead the line, hold the ball and link the game.

"I have some fantastic footballers who can create and score goals.

“We are looking for that balance and cleverness - that brains and brawn.

"It might be naughty to say brawn in terms of Victor and Shane but you need the balance.”