Club News

Irvine hails Sess impact

Irvine: Sessegnon vital to Berahino success

STEPHANE Sessegnon has been instrumental to Saido Berahino's Albion success.

That's according to Alan Irvine, who has been increasingly impressed with Sessegnon's displays for the Baggies this season.

Irvine felt the Benin international had one of his weaker games against Crystal Palace last week, with the player making way for Victor Anichebe at half-time.

But while Berahino, with seven top flight goals, has taken the glory this season, the Baggies head coach feels Sessegnon's contribution should not be overlooked.

"'Sess' has talent, ability and he's capable of doing something different - he is an important player to us," said Irvine.

"The way he plays gives Saido opportunities - it's important people realise that. It's a good partnership they have. He's the ideal partner in many respects.

"Sess makes centre-backs question whether they should come out to go and close him down or stay where they are. If they stay where they are he can turn and run at people. 

"If they come out it might give Saido an opening. I don't think any striker can put in a performance without someone like Sess to help them. We mustn't underestimate the role he plays.

"He's probably the typical No.10 who will come off and play in those areas between midfield and back players. There aren't many who are like him but he is different."

Irvine, who takes his side across the Midlands to take on Leicester tomorrow, continued: "Sess missed a big chunk of pre-season. 

"He was away with Benin for what seemed like two months but was only three weeks. He didn't come back in the best condition but since he's back in the team he's performed well. 

"With the exception of the opening half against Crystal Palace I've generally been pleased with how he's performed - so pleased I've picked him for games.

"He scored a brilliant goal against Manchester United but the Palace game was always going to be difficult because of how they set up."