Hodgson expects star duo to stick with WBA

West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson has revealed he is confident of retaining the services of his star performers for next season, including rumoured Arsenal target Peter Odemwingie.

The 63-year-old has enjoyed a smooth transition to life in the West Midlands since taking over at the Hawthorns in February, having successfully led West Brom out of relegation trouble and to a comfortable 11th place finish.

Hodgon’s ability to steer the Baggies well clear of a Premier League relegation battle that engrossed so many other clubs has been attributed to his ability to get the most out of the players he inherited.

When questioned on the futures of key performers such as Chris Brunt and Peter Odemwingie, who helped lead West Brom to a seven-match unbeaten run upon his arrival, Hodgson voiced his confidence in being able to retain their services for next season.

"Luckily they are under contract, so that’s not a great problem for us. We are working very hard to make sure they are happy at the club, and we will do our very best to ensure that."

Hodgson stressed that West Brom's relatively strong financial position will allow the club to resist big money bids for their best players.

"We are a club with a very healthy economy. The chairman has a very clear idea of the direction that the club wants to go in. He is certainly more interested in retaining our players than selling them.

"So players like Odemwingie and Brunt who have long term contracts, I expect them to stay at the club."

Newspaper speculation linked Nigeria forward Odemwingie with a £4 million move to Emirates Stadium on Friday morning.

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By Killian Woods