Well, Baggies fans knew the time would come eventually, but it acually turned out to be a lot sooner than anticipated. Last week, West Brom’s Swedish defender Jonas Olsson left the club by mutual consent to join Djurgarden IF in his homeland, just before the start of their new Allsvenskan season.
In the nine years Olsson has been at The Hawthorns, West Brom has transformed from a struggling yo-yo side into an established Premier League club, and Jonas has played a massive part in our journey.
The Swede has played 261 times for Albion since signing in 2008 for just £800,000, overseeing both relegation and promotion. But unlike some of our previous squads, he was a key part of the Baggies side who stopped the clubs yo-yo culture, and kept the team in the top division of English football.
Even though Olsson is a dominant, tall central defender, he was often excellent in his use of the ball, and added a much needed steel to a defence which historically struggled.
On the pitch he was a giant, but off the pitch he was an absolute gentleman, and has represented the club brilliantly during his time in England.
It will be a real shame that we can’t give him the Hawthorns send off that he deserves, but his open letter to the fans was pure class, and I hope he returns to the club in the future, as he would make an excellent coach.
Olsson has seen his first team opportunities become limited of late, following the outstanding form of Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley in the centre of our defence, but has not moaned and moped about as some would. That just shows his character, a personality that will be missed both on and off the pitch.
Yes, his form dropped off in his later years at Albion, but I will always remember Jonas Olsson for the ball-playing, solid and nutmeg loving defender he was. Oh and for THAT goal in the 5-1 win against Wolves!
Thanks Jonas, and good luck!