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Rosenberg must be given a chance

West Brom FanZoner Craig Punfield believes Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg deserves a chance to prove what he can do at The Hawthorns.

Last Updated: 02/04/13 at 16:07 Post Comment

Rosenberg: Could be in-line for more first-team action

Rosenberg: Could be in-line for more first-team action

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It looks like it is going to be another season of progression for West Brom, both in the points department and our final position in the table.

And it's been done in a typically frugal, Jeremy Peace, fashion.

Dan Ashworth and the network of Albion scouts scoured the globe to see what they could conjure up during the summer and we ended up spending only £4million, and that was on England's backup goalkeeper!

The freebies and loan signings that came to The Hawthorns for the start of the season settled in brilliantly to help with the successful campaign. But for me there has been a missing man in this season's success, a new addition to the side in the summer who has been on the sidelines, watching on as his teammates enjoyed success on the pitch.

Sweden international Markus Rosenberg will be the first to admit he has not had the finest season of his career, and it was surprising to see some of the criticism he has been receiving from some of the Baggies faithful.

If you look at his stats this season, and admittedly, they aren't impressive. The Swede has made 20 appearances, and has given us no goals in return.

But I want to give this a bit of perspective. 15 of those outings in the blue and white have been cameo roles from the bench in the last 10 minutes of a match.

And let's not forget the situation that he came to club in. He had been without a team since the end of the German season and joined his new side on a pre-season tour well behind them in the fitness stakes.

Yes, when he got his first real chance away to Yeovil in the League Cup he didn't really grasp it with both hands, but you also have to understand that this was his first start since joining the club, and his first since the end of the last season, a gap of a couple of months.

Ask any professional footballer and they will tell you that they need a run in a team to get their match fitness up to scratch.

His arrival last summer was deemed as something of a coup for the club; Rosenberg had reportedly turned down interest from many European clubs, including Premier League rivals Liverpool, Swansea and QPR to join our squad.

If other teams around us were also looking at him then this bloke has to have something a bit special about him!

Before coming to the West Midlands the striker had a total of £8 million spent on him during his career, during which time he spent time at Dutch giants Ajax and German outfit Werder Bremen. These sides obviously saw something from the hitman that they thought would bring something to their squads.

He also has 33 caps for Sweden and has been trusted to partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic in major summer tournaments, which is quite an achievement.

I think you also need to add the fact that Shane Long and Romelu Lukaku have being enjoying impressive campaign.

But for me this is the perfect time to try this guy out, we have six games left and in real danger of letting our season fizzle out.

Steve Clarke has already hinted that the Swedish international will get his chance over the coming games and I can completely understand why.

This summer is going to bring a massive overhaul in our frontline options.

It looks unlikely that we will be able to secure the services of Lukaku for a second season, Marc-Anotine Fortune looks like the won't be getting his contract extended, and if Peter Odemwingie is still at the club at the start of next term I will eat my glasses!

All we will be left with is the Irishman Long and that man, Markus Rosenberg.

So let's see what he can do, let's give him a string of starts because we now have to start looking towards next season, and if that means dropping players that won't be with us next campaign, such as Lukaku then so be it.

I want to also applaud his professionalism during what has had to be an extremely frustrating season for him.

If anyone had a right to go on a social media website and complain about how he feels he is being treated then it should have been him, not his fellow striker Odemwingie.

But instead, he has kept quiet, got on with his job and still waits for his opportunity to shine.

And when it does come up I hope he can show us all why there was a real buzz around the place when he first came to us.

Back the Berg!

By Craig Punfield, FanZone's West Brom blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @Punnerss - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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