CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Thursday, May 17, 2012
American defender Zak Whitbread has been released by Norwich City following another injury-plagued season.
It was another half season for Whitbread as he missed almost four months of action due to a series of injuries at the start and end the campaign. Whitbread looked very strong since January, earning plaudits and speculation that he would be picked by Jurgen Klinsmann to finally represent the U.S. National Team this summer.
With his contract up at the end of this season, there wasn't much doubt that he would be released after missing the final month of games. The talented defender has had a number of injury setbacks during his career that have prevented him from being capped by the National Team and from having long term success at he club level.
Despite being injury prone, there are a number of other Premier League clubs who are reportedly interested in his services, including Sunderland, Everton, and Wigan Athletic. If one of these teams came calling, it would likely be as a reserve option considering his inability to stay healthy in the starting lineup. Newly promoted Reading and Southampton have also been rumored to be in the chase for him.
At 28-years old there is still plenty of time for Whitbread to make an impact if he is able to rehab and stay healthy. After playing in just 43 Premier League games over the past two and a half seasons, he could be a bargain buy for a team that needs an extra defender or wants to take a chance on him in order to utilize his talents that helped Norwich City to a respectable finish this past season.