NEW recruit Uche Ikpeazu intends to fire Crewe to League One safety.

The 18-year-old Nigerian striker is set to make his debut against leaders Leyton Orient this Saturday at the Alexandra Stadium.

And he arrives with plenty of hype, having bagged 28 goals in as many games – including five hat-tricks – for Reading’s academy side last season.

Ikpeazu joined Watford last summer and was on the verge of a debut before boss Giuseppe Sannino agreed the loan switch this week.

“Playing in the Football League is a big step up but I’m more than looking forward to it,” he said.

“Crewe were interested in me and that’s the most important thing.

“I’ve been at Watford for six months and it’s been good.

“I’ve been working hard but it’s been difficult to break through and now is the time for me to go out and get games.

“I’m here and hopefully I can make things happen.

“I’m a physical, fast centre-forward and I try to work hard.

“The rest you’ll find out.

“The league position is not good at the moment but hopefully I can get the goals to help us climb up the table.

“Chuks (Aneke) is a good friend of mine and I know he’s been doing well here.

“I’m looking forward to building a decent partnership with him.”

Alex boss Steve Davis insists Ikpeazu was always his number one target having missed out on bringing back Tom Hitchcock who had a hand in last weekend’s 4-2 defeat at Rotherham United.

“Uche’s record at youth level is exceptional,” he explained.

“We wanted to take him before Tom but Watford wouldn’t let him out because he was close to their team.

“They told us to come back in January and we did.

“He’s 6ft 3ins, powerful and quick and we didn’t mess about because we really wanted him.”

Ikpeazu scored in Crewe’s U21 defeat, by 3-2, at Huddersfield – a match marred by red cards for both George Evans and George Ray.

Mathias Pogba could also be involved against Orient after netting in Crewe’s Cheshire FA Senior Cup exit at Northwich Victoria on Tuesday night.

Last season’s top scorer continued his comeback from knee ligament damage with a 68th-minute leveller, making it 1-1, before the hosts progressed after extra time and a penalty shoot-out at Flixton.

Meanwhile Fulham stopper Neil Etheridge will displace Ben Garratt if Davis completes his loan return in time.

Crewe entertain MK Dons on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm.