West Bromwich Albion news

Olsson targets long West Brom stay

December 14, 2012
By Ian Edwards

West Bromwich Albion defender Jonas Olsson has said he wants to finish his career at the Hawthorns.

Jonas Olsson: Happy at the Hawthorns
PA PhotosJonas Olsson: Happy at the Hawthorns

Olsson, 29, recently agreed a new four-year deal with the Baggies, but said he believed he could play at the top level for another six seasons.

The Sweden international is convinced he can emulate his countryman Olof Mellberg, who is still plying his trade in Spain with Villareal at the age of 35 and was a key player for Sweden in last summer's European Championships.

Olsson, a £600,000 signing from Heerenveen is adamant that he will continue to get better with age.

"This is definitely not my peak - I don't see this as my last contract," he said. "I have my best years ahead of me as a centre-half: 31 years old, 32 maybe, is normally where you peak.

"The nature of my character will help. If I don't see myself developing, that will be time to hang up my boots or find something better to do. I don't see myself playing at a lower level when I'm 36 or 37.

"I want to get better. That drives me and motivates me. Gareth [McAuley, a fellow centre-half] has just turned 33 and probably never played better. Gareth came to us when he was 31, and this is perhaps his best-ever form.

"Centre half is a position where you tend to get better because of age - think of Mellberg. Experience, positioning, the way you read a game - that only gets better as you get older.

"Since I've come to England, I've become a better defender. I think I'm learning every year."