Finnish Under 21 international goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen
came to Norwich on trial from Finnish side VPS Vassa in October
1997. With City's Third choice keeper Robert Green out until after
Christmas with injury, Mike Walker wanted extra cover for the No.1 shirt. Jussi
played for the Reserves in their 1-0 victory over Luton Town on
October 27th. He returned to Finland to await Walker's verdict.
Whilst Walker deliberated, Premiership side Bolton Wanderers stole
City's thunder and signed Jussi for £100,000. He made his
debut on Saturday 8th August 1998 in Bolton's 2-2 draw with Crystal
Palace. He has been Bolton's first choice keeper during the 1998/99
season as injuries have plagued the other keepers in their squad.
Despite a heroic performance in Bolton's FA Cup semi-final clash
with Aston Villa that finished 0-0 on 2nd March 2000, Jussi could
not stop Villa's penalty takers. After his Bolton teammates failed
to convert their efforts, Jussi had to stop Dion
Dublin or the Trotters would be out of the cup. Unfortunately
for Bolton, the England international striker converted his chance
to send Villa to the cup final
In July 2000, Jussi signed an extension to his contract until
2004. His impressive contribution to Bolton's fine start to their
2001/02 Premiership campaign led to speculation that Middlesbrough
were preparing a £4million bid. He is also likely to add
to his 7 international caps for the Finns.
When Peter Schmeichal announced his retirement in April 2003,
speculation began almost immediately that Jussi would be signed
by Man City as his replacement. In October 2004, Jussi's form
in helping Bolton to the upper echelons of the Premiership saw
him linked with Manchester United and Middlesbrough. However Jaaskelainen
told the club's website. "It's just speculation. I don't
care about it. I still have two years left,"
According to the News of the World on 24th April 2005,
Arsenal are said to be closely monitoing Jussi's contract negotiations
with Bolton but nothing materialised. With Bolton swooping for
Oman international and highly rated keeer Ali al Habsi in January
2006, it appears that Jussi's stay at Bolton may come to an end.
Middlesbrough are said to be watching the situation, according
to the News of the World (8th January 2006). In May 2006,
he was linked with a £2.5million switch to Portsmouth. Staying
with Bolton, Jussi was linked in May 2007 with a move to Sunderland
for £2m and to Newcastle following Sam Allardyce's departure
from Bolton to take charge at St James' Park.
At the beginning of October 2007, a number of media sources reported
that Jussi's agent having said that he will not sign a new contract
at Bolton because he wants to team up again with Sam Allardyce
- now at Newcastle. On 14th April 2008 the Daily Mirror claimed
that "Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill
is set to swoop for Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who
is out of contract in the summer. O'Neill is unwilling to pay
Liverpool £10m for on-loan Scott Carson, so he has turned
his attention to the 32-year-old Finn instead"
On 23rd November 2008, Jaaskelainen was named by the News of
the World as a target for new Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp
following the erratic form of Spurs' Brazilian keeper Heurelho
Bolton were relegated from the Premiership on 13th May 2012 although
Jussi made only 10 appearances that season (bringing his total
for Bolton to 519). Out of contract, he was linked with a switch
to West Ham, newly promoted to the Premiership. This became reality
at the beginning of July 2012.
He was released by the Hammers at the end of the 2014/15 season
having made 61 appearances. He trialled with Bradford City in
On 11th August 2015, he signed a one year contract with Wigan. He was in goal when they secured promotion to the Championship on 30th April 2016 with a 4-0 win over Blackpool.