In the absence of Kevin Phillips and Zoltan Gera, who shared more than 30 goals between them last season, the spotlight is shining more than ever on Ishmael Miller as the man whose goals will be needed to keep West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
Although he has never scored in the Premier League, he would have it no other way.
The 22-year-old is hugely confident in his ability and, after dropping down a division to play regular first team football, believes he is going back to the Premier League a changed player and a changed man.
Miller said: “I hoped it was a short term project playing in the Championship and we were delighted to get back at the first time of asking. “It’s going to be a great season for me going back to the Premiership and playing up front as well, which I feel is my best position.
“I am going back a much better player, mentally and physically, and as a stronger character.
“Obviously with Kev [Phillips] gone there’s more pressure on all the strikers to score and to try and fill in for him. It’s going to be difficult - but we will take on the responsibility.”
Despite incredible natural assets, most notably raw pace and power it is likely that Miller will have to add some subtlety and craft to his burgeoning potential in order to out-wit some formidable centre-backs in the top-flight, starting with Kolo Toure and William Gallas and, later, against his good friend Micah Richards.
“We always have a bit of banter about playing against each other,” said Miller. “That’s going to be a funny game. Obviously I want my friends to do well but I am only thinking about us at the moment.
“I am just going to give it my all. I believe in my own ability and I know I can pose problems to the best defenders in the world.
“My pace is a big threat and I’m just going to try and be the best player I can be. But we are all eager to show the top-flight what we can do.
“A few of us have a lot to prove and if we can turn our anxiety to perform into a positive then we will be able to. I am just anxious about this season, not nervous.
“We all believe on our abilities and hopefully we can offer something, for ourselves and the fans.”
In many ways, Miller is to Tony Mowbray what Theo Walcott is to Arsene Wenger. Both were bought for their potential and to play in the Premier League and while Walcott’s grooming process has been helped by working alongside some of the best players in the world, Miller’s season in the hustle and bustle of the Championship was an equally steep learning curve.
It has taken even Wenger time to smooth Walcott’s rough edges in the same way that Mowbray is trying to instil some added guile into what he hopes turns out to be his prize asset this season.
For both England under-21 internationals, this season is a defining time. Miller said: “Theo Walcott is a very fast, difficult player and he is tough to keep under wraps.
“He is a nice guy as well. There was a lot of pressure on him when he went to Arsenal and maybe this season he can prove his doubters wrong.
“I don’t really think there’s any good time to play Arsenal and while they are missing a few players the ones they bring in are still world class and they still all play the same way.
“We can only be focused on our performance.”