Odemwingie and Tchoyi sign to give Albion a necessary boost

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The Independent Online

West Bromwich Albion sought to put their opening day thrashing at the hands of Chelsea behind them by announcing two signings yesterday.

Powerful midfielder Somen Tchoyi was signed from Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg for an undisclosed fee and forward Peter Odemwingie arrived from Lokomotiv Moscow.

The Cameroon international Tchoyi has been on West Brom's radar for two seasons and he was finally given the green light to move to England by a review panel at the Football Association, who granted him a work permit on appeal.

Unlike Odemwingie, Tchoyi, 27, will not be available for today's Premier League meeting against Sunderland at The Hawthorns.

Baggies manager Roberto di Matteo said: "It's been a drawn-out process due to circumstances out of the club's control but all the hard work has paid off and I'm delighted to welcome Somen to the club.

"He is a powerful midfielder who will bring a physical presence to our team and also be a real threat at set-pieces. Somen has all the attributes to play in the Premier League but I think it is important we don't expect too much too soon from him as he will need a little time to adapt to English football.

"He also won't be sharp enough to be involved tomorrow as he has had to do a lot of travelling in the past few weeks which means he hasn't been able to train regularly."

Di Matteo, meanwhile, is hoping Odemwingie's presence in the squad today, subject to international clearance, can provide a much-needed boost following last week's 6-0 defeat at Chelsea.

The 29-year-old, who has signed a two-year deal with the option of a further year, passed a medical and agreed terms a week last Friday and the deal was finalised the next day but Odemwingie then had to secure a work permit and visa.

Di Matteo said: "I'm delighted to welcome Peter to the club. He is an exciting international, has a great CV and I'm sure seeing a player of his calibre coming into the club will give everyone a lift. Peter has got great pace, is two-footed, scores goals and has good experience at a very high level. We've brought him in as a striker but he can also play out wide, which gives me options."

Odemwingie was born in Uzbekistan and has dual Russian and Nigerian citizenship. He chose to play international football for the African nation and has scored nine times in 47 appearances, including Nigeria's only goal in their 2-1 defeat by South Korea last week.

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