Sky Sports News is reporting that Jussi Jaaskelainen has sealed a deal with West Ham United for the next 2 years. The club is expected to confirm the deal soon, with the official move taking place on July 1st, the start of the summer transfer window. This move has been rumoured for a while, and in our poll on the matter, 43% of you said you wouldn't mind our Finn making the move to Bolton Lite.
West Ham have been in search of a goalkeeper, as their former man between the posts Rob Green declined to extend his contract with the east London club. Jussi is a natural option, given that Big Sam Allardyce has already worked with him, and despite his age and the fact that his positioning sense and reactions are not what they once were, he is still a superb shot stopper. Big Sam has, of course, already brought in several players from his Bolton days, one of whom scored the goal that took the team back into the Premiership.
Jaaskelainen has been nothing but a faithful servant for his 15 years with the club, and will rightly go down in Bolton history as one of the best keepers to grace the club, but I firmly believe this is the right decision for both parties. It is important for the club to be looking to the future in all positions, but especially one as vital as goalkeeping, even more so given the Trotters' relegation from the top tier of English football. Giving youthful Adam Bogdan the big clubs, and allowing the squad's other young keepers Rob Lainton and Jay Lynch to climb a little farther up the ladder is the direction the team needs to be heading if it wants promotion and another sustainable spell in the Premiership.
That said, it will be difficult to see Jussi in another club's colours. With him gone, Kevin Davies is the last of the old guard at Bolton, the players I personally first fell in love with when I first visited the Reebok. I will miss him greatly on a sentimental level, but the big Finn deserves more than to finish out his career on the bench of a Championship club, and I will be comforted by the fact that in all likelihood Bolton will not have to play against him, at least for the next season. Good luck Jussi, we will always love you.