West Brom boss Di Matteo throws down gauntlet to central defenders

West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto di Matteo says he won't make a final decision on their centre-half pairing until the final week of the preseason.

West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto di Matteo says he won't make a final decision on their centre-half pairing until the final week of the preseason.

Di Matteo is delighted with the quality he has to choose from in central defence after recruiting Spanish star Pablo Ibanez.

The former Atletico Madrid man faces fierce competition from fellow internationals Gabriel Tamas (Romania), Jonas Olsson (Sweden) and Abdoulaye Meite (Ivory Coast), plus Leon Barnett.

And Di Matteo will let them fight it out over the next month before deciding on which pair to pick for the televised Stamford Bridge opener on August 14.

"I am very pleased to have four experienced, international centre-halves on board," the former Italian midfielder told the WBA website.

"I will look at them and decide in the last week.

"I will see which two play the best together and have the confidence to help organise the team and communicate with the rest of the players."

 
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