Jerome expects 'explosive' Martins to make impact

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The Independent Online

Cameron Jerome is relishing the prospect of linking up with the Birmingham City newcomer Obafemi Martins and believes the partnership can make life a misery for Premier League defenders.

Martins has finally been granted a visa and the former Newcastle player is set to make his debut in Saturday's home game with Stoke.

Jerome feels the Nigeria international will give Birmingham "an extra dimension" as they look to find the goal power which has proved elusive this season. He said: "Obafemi has played in the Premier League before and is an international player so he will add something different, a new dimension to our strike force. He is not one who has got to come in and find his feet in the Premier League. He knows how to play and, from what we have seen of him before at Newcastle, he seems to be a very explosive player. We need that extra dimension up front. Hopefully, he can come in and settle quickly and we can make best use of him from now to the end of the season."

Jerome added: "I'm looking forward to playing with someone like it was last year with myself and Christian Benitez. We caused defences headaches, we terrorised defences. Martins is of that calibre, that explosive player, that jack in the box, and hopefully he can good for us."

The Aston Villa newcomer Jean Makoun was withdrawn from Cameroon's friendly international in FYR Macedonia last night as an injury precaution. Midfielder Makoun, signed from Lyons for £6m during last month's transfer window, has a slight calf problem, but Villa are hopeful he will be fit for the Premier League game at Blackpool on Saturday.

Makoun has quickly slotted in at Villa alongside captain Stiliyan Petrov and their manager, Gérard Houllier, said: "He is an experienced player. He is a proper link between the midfield and the strikers. He has played in the Champions League. He'll be a good asset for the future."



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