Earnshaw seals Albion move

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The Independent Football

Robert Earnshaw is relishing the chance to take his goalscoring exploits to the highest level after sealing his £3m move from Cardiff City to West Bromwich Albion yesterday.

Robert Earnshaw is relishing the chance to take his goalscoring exploits to the highest level after sealing his £3m move from Cardiff City to West Bromwich Albion yesterday.

Earnshaw tied up personal terms with the Baggies over the weekend and will join up with his new team when he returns from international duty with Wales.

"This is the chance I have been waiting for," Earnshaw said. "It has always been my ambition to play in the Premiership and I am absolutely thrilled that the deal has been completed and that West Brom are going to give me that chance. I am taking nothing for granted and I know I have got to work hard."

The West Brom manager, Gary Megson, has thus broken his transfer record for the second time this summer in order to sign Earnshaw on a three-year contract which could eventually lead to Cardiff receiving up to £3.625m.

Earnshaw's exploits for the Bluebirds had attracted much interest and almost put paid to the Albion deal at the last minute due to a sticking point over personal terms.

Megson admitted: "It was looking touch-and-go over the last 48 hours because other agents were trying to get involved and move Robert to other clubs. But he's now a West Brom player. This move will give him the opportunity in the Premiership that he's wanted and he now needs to prove himself to a new public.

"Hopefully he will give us something we've maybe not had for a while, which is a real sharpness up front."

Earnshaw has boasted a phenomenal goalscoring record in the lower divisions. He scored 107 goals in 167 games for Cardiff and seven in 13 appearances for Wales - including a hat-trick against Scotland in February.

He will link up with his Wales colleagues Andy Johnson and Jason Koumas at The Hawthorns after their World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan on Saturday and Northern Ireland on 8 September.

Earnshaw's move comes with the blessing of the Wales coach, Mark Hughes. "Earnie will prove he can score goals in the Premiership," Hughes said. "Whenever there have been questions about Earnie's ability to perform at a higher level, he has answered them with goals."

Albion's deal is a further statement of their intent to remain in the Premiership, eclipsing their previous transfer record of £2.7m spent this summer on the Denmark defender Martin Albrechtsen.

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