According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, West Bromwich Albion are set to sign free agent Martin Olsson once finer details have been agreed.
It’s claimed that the 31-year-old is in talks with the Baggies after he confirmed to press that there were offers on the table from England. He has been allowed to leave Sweden’s camp in Doha to sort out the move.
Olsson has been without a club since he was released by Swansea City at the end of last season.
Albion boss Slaven Bilic will be looking to strengthen key areas this month, and if these reports are correct, then he views the left-back area as a cause for concern – as we have also previously highlighted at Football FanCast.
First-choice Kieran Gibbs faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines while Nathan Ferguson has also been absent through injury.
Despite the obvious need to bolster the left side of the defence, a move for Olsson could prove to be a very risky piece of business.
The Swede hasn’t played in over a year. A rather worrying sign.
His last match was a 3-2 victory over Brentford back at the start of December 2018 – he lasted just 14 minutes and wasn’t seen again that season, per Transfermarkt.
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That’s an almighty throw of the dice from Bilic, signing a player that can’t be anywhere near match fit and by the time he gets up to speed, Gibbs will be back and even if he suffers another injury, there’s Ferguson and Conor Townsend.
He may have played three games shy of 200 times in the top-flight, but that’s well in the past.
A wiser decision may have been to opt for the loan market; draft in a young player from one of the Premier League academies, even if it were on a short-term deal. That would make more sense.
In the 13 starts he managed for Swansea, Olsson averaged a poor average rating of 6.50, where he conceded 0.9 fouls per game, via WhoScored.
Call yourself a Premier League expert? How much did each of these big-money January signings cost?
This isn’t the sort of signing that a side chasing the title should be making, it neglects the future as their end goal is the Premier League and the veteran full-back clearly isn’t up to that standard now.
He was barely before with four relegations to his name.