Former Man City star has not replaced Olsson - West Brom boss

Alan Irvine has confirmed that Jonas Olsson remains an important part of his playing squad, despite the inclusion of Joleon Lescott.

Lescott made his debut for the Baggies on Sunday, playing an important part in the 1-0 victory recorded at White Hart Lane following his move from Manchester City.

The two-time Premier League winner made 160 appearances during his spell at the Etihad, and was a key part of the squad that won City’s first Premier League title. However, having made just 10 appearances last season, he left the club at the end of his contract, and agreed a deal with West Brom boss Alan Irvine - with whom he worked whilst at Everton.

The 32-year-old missed the opening weeks of the season through injury, but finally made his debut at White Hart Lane, as the Baggies recorded their first win of the season.

Lescott replaced 31-year-old Sweden international Jonas Olsson in the centre of defence, with the latter having been at fault for some of the Baggies early season mishaps. However, Irvine told the Lichfield Mercury that Olsson still had a part to play this season, with the ageing centre-back a ‘very important member of the squad’.

The former Preston and Sheffield Wednesday coach said: "I have huge respect for him.

"He is a top professional and a very, very good player but he has made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes which have proved costly in the last couple of games," Irvine explained.

“I have a full range of choices for the first time and I had to look a couple of people in the eye and tell them they were not playing. It is never pleasant but it is part of the job.

“And you can be absolutely certain that Jonas will remain a very important member of the squad.”

Olsson had appeared in the previous four Premier League games played by West Brom, which had seen seven goals conceded. If Lescott’s inclusion keeps being rewarded with clean sheets, Irvine’s decision to drop the Swede will surely lauded as a wise move.

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