Baggies boss Pulis to add Ameobi to all-African attack
West Bromwich Albion, now 5/1 with Coral to be relegated, have reportedly agreed a short-term deal with ex-Newcastle United target man and free agent Shola Ameobi for him to spend the rest of this season at The Hawthorns.
Nigeria international Ameobi, 33, spent almost 20 years (1995-2014) man and boy on the books at St James’ Park, but Baggies boss Tony Pulis landed him on loan when in charge of Stoke City. Albion’s Welsh head coach is keen to add to his striking options, with Greek flop Georgios Samaras set to leave for the Middle East.
A brief spell in Turkish football has failed to work out for Ameobi, whose younger brother Sammy is still on Tyneside. The 6ft 3in target man went to the World Cup with his country last summer, but the Super Eagles lost to France in the quarter-finals.
Fellow Nigerian forwards Victor Anichebe and Brown Ideye (Ameobi beat them both to a spot in the Nigeria World Cup squad) are on The Hawthorns’ books, while the African presence is strong in general at Albion. Benin attacker Stephane Sessegnon joins Burundi-born England call-up Saido Berahino and DR Congo defensive midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu are also regulars.
Although never prolific at Premier League level with 43 in just less than 300 games, Ameobi offers that graft and hold-up option that have been a feature of Pulis’ teams for many years. Record Baggies buy Ideye has flopped badly, netting just twice in 16 appearances across all competitions.
Behind leading marksman Berahino, own goals account for the next highest method of scoring at Albion, and Pulis will be keen to change that.
Capped 10 times by his country and with two international goals, including one against Italy, Ameobi will add Premier League experience to West Brom’s forward line, and the Midlands club are 11/1 shots to end the season in the top half.