Olsson excited for West Brom future
Jonas Olsson says West Bromwich Albion's success in securing the long-term services of several key players made up his mind to pledge himself to The Hawthorns as well.
The giant Swedish defender's future had been a talking point for several months, especially when he came into 2012-13 with less than a year remaining on his deal.
But he is thrilled to have signed a new four-year contract, and then celebrated with Saturday's 3-2 home victory over QPR.
"It was really important to start paying back straightaway and this was our fourth consecutive win at home, so....happy days!" he said. "We've been here four years, we have a social life here and are really settled now.
"The club have made an effort to keep me and I'm happy it all came together in the end. It was a key factor for me to sign when I see the club going in the right direction long term.
"The reason we are doing well now is because we have kept our key players over the last three or four seasons. Our performances this year are a product of that.
"Tying up James Morrison, Peter Odemwingie, Chris Brunt and Ben Foster, all those class players, made my decision easier. And, hopefully, with me committing myself, it can make it easier for players in the future in the same situation. If I didn't see the club going in the right direction, I wouldn't have signed.
"I see us as an established Premier League team and when you perform well, you raise your bar. Our squad is by far the best we've had in my four years here. We finished tenth last year and you always want to push on.
"If we don't perform as well as last year, it will be under-achieving given the squad. If you aim for sixth or seventh place and Europe, you realise the teams around – Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United – and then you can't have any other teams in front of you. But why not? If we keep performing like this, who knows where the season could take us?"
Olsson, who again stood in as captain at the weekend in the absence of the injured Brunt, insists he still has plenty to offer a club who enter the latest international break with a more than healthy 14 points from seven matches.
"I see my best years still ahead, as is the case for many centre-halves around their early 30s," he added. "That is when you normally peak and I definitely feel I can progress and develop as a player here, otherwise I would not have signed.
"It's a big decision, a big commitment in your career and your life. This is definitely my key contract and I'm very happy it is finalised. The financial reward is also a factor. Anyone who says otherwise is not talking the truth. I feel very much for the club, I love playing here. But you are abroad to make a good career, to play against the best players, to set you up for the future because it is a short career. I can't deny that was a factor as well."