Olsson backs fellow veteran for new West Brom contract

Jonas Olsson insists Gareth McAuely is “still a great asset” to West Bromwich Albion despite his advancing years.

West Bromwich Albion’s Jonas Olsson insists fellow defensive veteran Gareth McAuley deserves a new contract at the Hawthorns, adding the Northern Irishman is “still a great asset” to the club.

The Birmingham Mail report boss Tony Pulis has already opened talks with McAuley over a possible contract extension, with the 36-year-old’s current deal set to expire in the summer.

And Olsson, whose contract is also set to expire at the end of the season, insists a new deal for McAuley will be positive for the club.

The Swede told the Birmingham Mail: “He’s a good player. He’s been doing really well for us over the past few years, so hopefully the club will tie him down.

"He’s still fit and healthy. He’s still a great asset to the club."

Olsson, who recently turned 33, looks unlikely to be offered a new deal himself, coming in for criticism after a disappointing performance against Norwich City last week, which saw the defender substituted.

That game also saw McAuley, who is currently on international duty with Northern Ireland, become the Baggies’ oldest ever outfield player in the Premier League era.

But despite last week’s disappointment, Olsson is already preparing for the trip to struggling Sunderland next Saturday, after being overlooked in the latest Sweden squad.

“I wasn’t picked [for the Sweden squad], so I’m staying here and training, focusing on the next game," he added

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