Did you know? Longest serving foreign player in the PL playing for West Ham

Did you know that? Jussi Albert Jääskeläinen (born 19 April 1975 in Mikkeli) holds the record for being the longest serving foreign player in the Premier League after playing in England’s first tier from 1997 until 2012.

The Finnish goalkeeper played for Bolton Wanderers since 1997 (447 league appearances) and joined West Ham at the end of the 2011-12 season. He earned 56 caps for the Finland national football team before retiring from international football in 2010.

Having turned down a contract extension with relegated Bolton in the summer, Jääskeläinen (37) has a one year deal with the Hammers, where he was reunited with former manager Sam Allardyce, with an option for a second year. Jussi made his debut for West Ham on 18 August 2012 in a 1–0 home win against Aston Villa.

Getting better from game to game, West Ham’s new stopper now makes it easy to get over Robert Green‘s parting after the former keeper had secured promotion to the Premier League with the famous 2-1 win in the play-off final at Wembley. Long-serving goalie Greeno (played for the Hammers from 2006-12) has left for Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer (where he isn’t first choice anymore since Julio Cesar has joined the “Hoops” from Internazionale Milan by the end of August).

<-  Jussi Jääskäleinen (far left) and Manager Sam Allardyce with West Ham’s new players which had joined before the start of the season (from left):
James Collins, Modibo Maiga, Stephen Henderson (now on loan to Ipswich) , manager Sam Allardyce, Alou Diarra, Mohamed Diame (pic: The Telegraph)

Later in the season West Ham added to their squad:
Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll (on loan from Liverpool),, Yossi Benayoun (on loan from Chelsea)and goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel.

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