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Hodgson: West Brom must keep Odemwingie

SoccerNews in English Premier League, Serie A 29 Apr 2011

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West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson believes it is vital that the club holds on to top scorer Peter Odemwingie this summer.

The 29-year-old Nigeria forward has been linked to a host of clubs including Italian giants Juventus but Hodgson said he is a vital part of West Brom’s future.

Odemwingie will look to add to his 13 Premier League goals when West Brom host local rivals Aston Villa on Saturday.

“For me it is an absolute no-brainer that West Brom needs to keep hold of Peter,” Hodgson said on Friday.

“I did not know that Juventus were interested in Peter so that is news to me.”

“It would be nice of Juventus let West Brom know instead of all this press speculation.”

“For the last god knows how many years we have been up and down, up and down between the Premier League and the Championship.”

“If you are going to have a spell of being in the Premier League then you have got to improve your team.”

West Brom have only got four games left to haul themselves out of the relegation zone but they will have to do that without three key players.

“Jerome Thomas had a slight groin strain that made him a bit doubtful for the Tottenham game and got aggravated during the game to force him off,” he said.

“It was a calf muscle strain that forced Steven Reid off just before half-time and he will be missing on Saturday.”

“Chris Brunt has picked up an unfortunate hamstring strain in training that came about with him trying to keep a ball in play by flicking his leg behind him.”

“It caused a slight strain, which we’ve had scanned and it showed nothing in particular.”

“Had the game been Sunday he’d have had a better chance and if the injury had happened on Tuesday he’d have a good chance – but it happened on Thursday.”

“We’ll have a look at it tomorrow but it is likely to keep him out.”

“None of them are long-term injuries and it gives another three players the chance to show what they can do.”

West Brom will definitely be without defender Pablo Ibanez (hamstring) and midfielder Graeme Dorrans (ankle).

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