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West Brom boss Irvine reveals the reason why £10m summer signing is out of favour

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Irvine says he can't play Brown Ideye and Saido Berahino together.

West Bromwich Albion may have made the strange decision to appoint Alan Irvine as the club's new manager in June, but things actually seem to be going fairly well at The Hawthorns.

Sunday's 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle United was a blow, but the Baggies sit in 13th place with 13 points, and look to be making steady progress under former Preston boss Irvine.

The star of the show so far has been striker Saido Berahino. The Burundi-born attacker has hit seven league goals already this season, and his form has earned him his first call-up to the England senior squad.

The 21-year-old is attracting interest from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, but his presence means one player has been left on the sidelines.

Striker Brown Ideye played for Nigeria at this summer's World Cup, and with an impressive record in Ukraine with Dynamo Kiev, West Brom forked out £10m to bring him to the West Midlands.

However, Ideye has yet to have much of an impact, playing just 198 minutes of Premier League football so far this season, and he's even slipped behind Victor Anichebe and Giorgios Samaras in the pecking order at West Brom.

The 26-year-old has been labelled a flop by many, with his only goal coming in the Capital One Cup tie against Hull City in September, but manager Irvine has addressed the situation, saying he can't use Ideye and Berahino together.

"He is doing OK but Brown’s competition is Saido," said Irvine. "You’re looking at partnerships and people who can play together. I’m not saying they can’t play together but they’re both of a similar type and they’re at their best going in behind people."

“Unless you’re going to play quite a direct style, two going in behind isn’t very effective. If you’re playing against Crystal Palace or Newcastle with the way they play, you’re not going to get an awful lot of space in behind."

“Brown is suffering a little bit because of how well Saido is playing and I don’t think people would be too pleased if I left Saido out to play Brown," he added.

Irvine is right to 'trust the hot hand' with Berahino, but the situation with Ideye is becoming more and more perplexing - especially given that Irvine sanctioned a £10m move without ever having seen him play. That's currently looking like a mistake.

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