On the 28th May 2015, West Ham announced that goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was to be released at the end of the 2015/16 season.
The Finnish goalkeeper spent three years at east London after joining the club as one of the more underrated shot-stoppers in the Premier League, playing over 400 times for Bolton Wanderers in their most successful period in English football that saw the Trotters make European football in two seasons, with Jaaskelainen in between the sticks for both campaigns.
Although Jaaskelainen came to West Ham as an established Premier League goalkeeper, age caught up to the veteran keeper who was 37 when he joined the Hammers in the summer of 2012.
And his age and declining quality meant Jaaskelainen only spent three seasons in the English capital before he was released on a free at the end of the 2015/16 season, a campaign where the Finnish international only made one appearance, a 30-minute cameo against Southampton after Adrian was sent off.
Here is how some West Ham fans reacted to the news of his release from the club…
@whufc_official apart from his Inability to save free kicks he was a great signing.
— Slav (@WestHamPictures) 28 May 2015
@whufc_official thank you Jussi.
— BOYS1991 (@boys1991) 28 May 2015
@whufc_official Jussi too? awww
— Nate Beal (@TheCaptain1999) 28 May 2015
@whufc_official -good luck mate done a job for us
— michael collins (@chickenrunloyal) 11 August 2015
— Happy Hammer47 (@Irons1980Sh) 11 August 2015
Cheers Jaaskelainen. You did a great job at West Ham
— George Poynter (@George_Poynter) 28 May 2015
Jussi Jaaskelainen and Guy Demel leave too, along with Nene and Carlton Cole.
Massive thanks and good luck to them all.
— Hammers Chat (@hammers_chat) 28 May 2015
It didn’t take long for Jaaskelainen to find a new team following his departure from east London. In August he was signed by League One side Wigan Athletic, and although he was initially signed as backup for fellow summer arrival Richard O’Donnell, the 40-year-old keeper had a successful season in the English third-tier.
In a season where the Latics were promoted back to the Championship as League One champions, Jaaskelainen kept 15 clean sheets in 32 games for the 2013/14 FA Cup winners, establishing himself as one of the most reliable keepers in League One and manning a defence that only conceded 45 goals all season.
It was to be the only successful season Jaaskelainen would have with Wigan, though, as in the following campaign in the Championship, not only did the Latics go straight back down to League One after being relegated in 23rd place, but the now 41-year-old keeper only made nine appearances for the club, losing his first-team spot to Adam Bogdan.
Jaaskelainen was again released at the end of the season, and one more stop with Indian Super League side ATK rounded off a lengthy 16-year career for the shot-stopper.
West Ham fans, what was your favourite Jaaskelainen moment? Let us know!
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