Olsson welcomes West Brom competition

The defender has established a successful partnership with Gareth McAuley but is delighted with the arrival of fellow centre-back Diego Lugano as the Baggies look to improve
West Brom defender Jonas Olsson insists he welcomes the increased competition for places following the arrival of Diego Lugano this summer.

The Uruguay captain signed a two-year contract on Friday after leaving Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, and joins striker Nicolas Anelka who reunited with his former Chelsea coach, Steve Clarke, at the Hawthorns in July.

Olsson, and regular centre-back partner Gareth McAuley, started all but two Premier League matches last season, but the Sweden international is delighted with the new depth to the Baggies squad.

"I welcome more additions to the team and the competition. It always makes you try harder," he told the club’s official website.

"Before every season, it’s good to have a few new faces. Competition for places is what develops you as a team and an individual. It’s vital for the team and hopefully we can get a few more faces in.

"Lugano is a player I know about. His CV is brilliant. I think he can be a good addition to our team.

"The signing of Nico speaks for itself. In our pre-season games, he has shown what a class player he is. He’s motivated and a hard worker. I’m very happy with that signing. Hopefully, by signing him we can attract more players of his standard."

Having endured relegation in his first season at the club but West Brom finished a record high eighth last term and Olsson also values of the experience of the new signings and those whose contracts were renewed.

"I think experience is important. The first year I came that’s what we were lacking when we fell out of the league," he commented.

"It feels like a long time ago now. You can’t put a price on experience. Now we have a lot of experienced players in the team. The club showed ambition by giving Gareth McAuley, Steven Reid and Youssouf Mulumbu new contracts. Their experience is vital.

"I feel like I can still develop myself every season. I’m 30 and I have my best years in front of me as a centre-half. The day when I feel like I’m going backwards, that’s the time to maybe think about doing something else. At the moment, I feel like I’m progressing every season."