They Played For Both Clubs: Bolton v Charlton

Alex Livesey /Allsport

Ladies and gentlemen - Claus Jensen

Ahead of this weekend's game against Charlton Athletic, I had a scan through the memory banks and after discarding the prospect of writing about Marvin Sordell and Mark Fish, I plumped for another, more cerebral subject.

Claus William Jensen was born in Nykøbing Falster, Denmark, in April 1977.

He turned profession in 1995, at the age of 18 playing for Næstved BK who at the time played in the Danish 2nd Division East, the third tier of Danish football league system. He also made his debut for the Danish under-19 national team after just four months as a professional footballer.

After just four games for Næstved BK he was signed by Lyngby Boldklub in time for the 1996/97 season in the Danish Superliga. Notable former Lyngby players include ex-Celtic man Morten Wieghorst, ex-Sunderland winger Carsten Fredgaard and Lars Bohinen who represented Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers and the Norwegian National side with distinction.

At Lynbgy, Jensen developed a reputation for elegant and dynamic attacking midfielder. He spent two seasons at the club, making 62 appearances and scoring 14 goals. It was there that he attracted interest from larger clubs on the continent before signing for a Colin Todd-led Bolton Wanderers in 1998 for a fee of £1.5m. It was at the height of the club's Scandinavian invasion, joining the likes of Gudni Bergsson, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Per Frandsen and Michael Johansen.

Todd would remain at the club until September 1999 before being replaced by Sam Allardyce. Jensen was an virtual ever-present for the club under both managers, and performed well enough to be called up for the Danish national team in March 2000.

Following our failure to achieve promotion back to the Premier League, and in the midst of a financial crisis, Jensen was sold to Premiership club Charlton Athletic for £4 million in the summer of 2000. This was the same time in which Bolton also sold Eidur Gudjohnsen to Chelsea for the same fee.

He had made 86 appearances for the Wanderers, scoring eight goals along the way. He left with the best wishes of most fans who viewed him as an elegant midfielder but who had become somewhat of a luxury player amongst the rough and tumble of the First Division.

After leaving Bolton, he became a regular for Charlton, and his performances were such that he was called up to the Danish squad for the 2002 World Cup, where he made a single appearance as a substitute.

After more than 100 games for Charlton, Jensen was signed by Fulham for £1.25 million, signing a three year contract. However, his time with the club was plagued by knee injuries. It was of little surprise when in May 2007, Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez decided to release him.

Sanchez claimed that Jensen's struggles for fitness prompted the move, whereas Jensen was of the opinion that it was due to his unwillingness to fit into Sanchez's long-ball tactics.

After struggling with repetitive knee injury, Jensen announced his retirement from professional football in August 2007, aged just 30.

Jensen made 47 appearances for the Danish National side, scoring eight times including a hat-trick in a 4-1 friendly win against Egypt in 2003. He also represented Denmark at the 2004 European Championship, where he took part in three of Denmark's four matches.

Career Statistics


Club performance

League

Season

Club

League

Apps

Goals

Denmark

League

1995-96

Næstved

Superliga

4

0

1996-97

Lyngby

Superliga

31

3

1997-98

31

11

England

League

1998-99

Bolton Wanderers

First Division

44

2

1999-00

42

6

2000-01

Charlton Athletic

Premier League

38

5

2001-02

18

1

2002-03

35

6

2003-04

31

4

2004-05

Fulham

Premier League

12

0

2005-06

11

2

2006-07

12

2

Total

Denmark

66

14

England

243

28

Career total

309

42

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