Dike arrived at the club in January for a fee believed to be in the region of £7 million – after prolonged interest from then boss Valerien Ismael.
But after one substitute appearance, Dike broke down with a hamstring injury around an hour into his full debut against Peterborough and didn’t play again for the rest of the season. Now he’s fighting fit again and, speaking from the Baggies training camp in Portugal, the USA international insists he is more determined to succeed this season.
He said: “I think not playing football for a very long time is something that has fuelled my hunger, fuelled my desire.
“Mentally, I’m a competitor, I love to play all the time, I enjoy playing.
“To sit on the sidelines and watch every single game, itching to play, knowing that I’m so close to be able to play is one thing, and of course you always want to help them, help the squad, help the guys.
“Being able to see how hard they’re working and training, see what they’re doing on the pitch and stuff like that – I want to contribute, I want to help, I want to do something that you desire.
“So now being put in a position to do that is something that I’m so happy and thankful for.
“Last year didn’t really go as well as I’d planned, but I think now, being able to go out there, being able to train and do what I’ve been sitting there waiting to do for months is a great feeling. It’s something that I’ve been waiting for, so I’m very happy to be here in pre-season and then of course, going into the season, being able to share the pitch with all the guys is something I’ve been looking forward to.”
Dike also spoke about the Baggies’ pre-season camp and insists putting the hard yards in now does help to make things easier when the season comes around.
He added: “I think it’s good for everybody, pushing ourselves during pre-season’s good because once it comes to the real thing everything’s going to start seeming easier, sessions are going to seem easier and I can imagine these sessions will start to feel easier as you keep going.
“It’s been a little bit difficult, but it’s nice to have a view while you do it. For me, there’s many different things I can offer and I think the guys here in the training sessions and the two matches I was part of, they pushed me.
“They helped me bring out the best in myself and hopefully I do the same thing with them as well.
“Offensively, defensively, anything that I can do for the team, be that working, scoring goals, creating or holding up the ball, I’m just there to do it all.”