West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray has announced that whoever he attracts to the Hawthorns this summer, Jonathan Greening would remain the club’s captain.
To add to the theme of continuity, the Albion boss has finally completed the permanent signing of striker Roman Bednar from Hearts.
Greening was Albion’s most influential figure last season and made them tick from the centre of the pitch in what former England manager Steve McClaren would refer to as ‘the quarter back’ role.
There is no doubt Mowbray regards the 29-year-old former Manchester United and Middlesbrough midfielder as his lieutenant on the pitch and his announcement that Greening will still have the arm band may be a pre-emptive move to curtail any growing speculation that other clubs were monitoring Greening’s status at the club with a view to trying to entice him away.
Speculation that Glasgow Rangers were set to make a move may be way off the mark but Greening’s all-round talents will certainly be attractive to potential suitors and Mowbray has reassured his captain of his importance next season, although Mowbray pointed out he still had to compete for his place in the team like everyone else.
“Jonathan has the respect of the rest of the players because of his ability and the way he conducts himself,” said Mowbray. “He is not hot-headed, is very calm and a good footballer. He is someone I can talk to on a level.
“He was given the captaincy last season because he brings just about everything I like in a footballer. In his own way he shows great responsibility.
“Captains don’t always need to be charging around the pitch, clattering into people, shouting or shaking their fist. He listens and takes it in.
“I don’t envisage any changes and I am not looking for another captain. Jonathan has just led this team to the Championship.”
The paperwork on Bednar’s £2.3 million transfer went through over the weekend after Albion informed the Edinburgh club they were exercising their option to convert the Czech international’s season-long loan into a permanent transfer.
Bednar, who has signed a three-year contract, was in fantastic form last season while on loan. The 25-year-old scored 17 goals in just 22 starts.
Meanwhile, the rumour mill continues to turn over Mowbray’s potential targets. Albion have been linked with a move for Derby County’s talented winger Giles Barnes, Dundee midfielder Kevin McDonald and a loan move for Arsenal midfielder Alexandre Song.
However, one target according to reports, Paris St Germain star Bernard Mendy, has quashed rumours he is wanted by Albion. The former Bolton Wanderers defender said: “I have been told about interest from Premier League clubs but not Fulham or West Bromwich.”