Eetu Vertainen programme article

Posted : 19th February 2022

January signing Eetu Vertainen faced an anxious wait before his deadline day loan transfer from St. Johnstone could be confirmed but the Finnish forward says he’s delighted to now be a Linfield player.

“The last day of the transfer window was quite hectic but I was sure that if we could get it done, Linfield would a good option for me to get some games and develop as a player. Now that everything has been concluded, I am delighted to be here and can’t wait to get playing and hopefully, help the team to major success.”

The 22-year-old was registered by Linfield in the last few hours of the transfer window but it took a week before he was officially announced as the Blues had to wait on a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) certificate from the IFA to complete the signing. Vertainen admits he was very impressed by Linfield’s facilities and he believes he’s joining a team in a strong league.

“The facilities here impressed me right away, especially Windsor Park which looks amazing! I hope we can get our fans out in good numbers, pushing us on for a big end to the season. It would be great to make my home debut, if selected against Portadown. I would love to get on to the Windsor pitch. I played for the Swifts on Monday which helped me build up more match fitness and I needed that, as I hadn’t been playing at St. Johnstone.

“I watched the Larne match in the Irish Cup from the stands at Inver Park and then I was on the bench when we beat them a few days later in the league at Windsor, before making my debut in last week’s derby game at The Oval. The league looks like a good level but I believe I can come in and make an impact. The Glentoran result was bad for us but it is all about the response now and the next games are important, as we can’t afford to slip up. I can say for sure that everyone involved is very hungry to respond after last week. We know we have quality and now it’s about showing real character, to get the results that we need.”

The Finnish U21 International turned down other interest, including the opportunity to return home, as he is determined to carve out a successful career in the UK and he believes Linfield can help him kick-start his journey in British football.

“Yes, there was the option to go back home to Finland, but I felt it wasn’t the right time to return to where everything is familiar. I love challenges in life, so now I’m here to face it head on. I also made a decision when I arrived in the United Kingdom that I want to stay for some time and that I won’t give up, even if things are not going my way.”

In closing, the six-foot-two target man is setting the bar high, as he outlines his ambitions for the remainder of the season during his loan spell at Windsor Park.

“In my loan spell here, I aim to score as many goals and create as many assists as possible and also to improve myself as a player overall. Any player who joins Linfield does so in the belief that they will be successful. It’s the biggest club in Northern Ireland and we all have the ambition and belief, as well as ability, to win the league. We have a great set-up here and I believe we can do it!”

A warm Windsor welcome to Linfield’s first ever Finnish player and best wishes to Eetu for what we all hope will be a prolific and successful spell with the Blues.
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