West Brom boss Steve Clarke is determined to keep hold of strike duo Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long this summer.

Odemwingie and Long have been linked with moves away from the Hawthorns this pre-season with Nigerian international Odemwingie not hiding his desire to play for a bigger club.

Clarke is hopeful of keeping Odemwingie and is looking forward to working with the forward.

“He’s (Odemwingie) a top player, a Nigerian international, he scored goals in the Premier League consistently,” Clarke told the Sunday Mirror. “There’s no reason to doubt that he’s not a top, top player and I’m really looking forward to working with him.

“His goal record here is really good. He’s the man you look to for the goals. Normally as an opposition coach I would be looking and seeing that Peter Odemwingie has scored again.

“I will come in and work with Peter and over a period of time I will be able to grade him and see where he fits in that sort of level in the table and where he fits as a player.”

Clarke revealed he has spoken to Long after the Republic of Ireland international endured a difficult first season with the Baggies last term following his arrival from Reading.

“I have spoken briefly to most of the players and I spoke to Shane,” added Clarke. “He said that he has a difficult first season with a lot of injuries. He’s told me that he’s over that and he feels quite good.

“Unfortunately he’s not had a chance to really play in the Euros, but in a way that might be a good thing that he’s not been pushed and asked too many questions.

“He can now have a nice summer and come back refreshed. It’s quite an appealing prospect and both of them have proved that they are natural goalscorers. If you have two goalscorers who can score goals it’s a big plus.”


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