Jussi Jaaskelainen has activated the extra year option to stay at the Boleyn Ground for another season after being an ever-present in West Ham United’s cause to retain Premier League status for the 2013-14 season.
This can only be good news for the Hammers as the Finnish international is an experienced and top quality keeper and he has shown, particularly in the second half of the season, that despite being 37 years old he can still keep the quality attacks of the English top flight at bay. But come the summer transfer window Sam Allardyce, if he remains in charge at Upton Park, must look for class competition for Jussi, having Stephen Henderson out on loan and not massively impressing in the Championship is a worry that if Jääskeläinen were to get injured then West Ham would have to turn to a young and inexperienced keeper, if not Henderson then the club would have to turn to the very young Austrian under 21 international, Raphael Spiegel, which would certainly be a test against the likes of Aguero, Van Persie and Suarez.
Quality keepers are hard to come by, in Jussi we have one but a club in the Premier League should have two goalkeepers to challenge for that number 1 position and clubs aren’t willing to let their back-up keeper go, especially not to a rival. There are possibilities in the Premiership that Allardyce could look at and rumours have circulated around the Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard who has lost a regular starting spot to the Spaniard David De Gea.
Getting Old Trafford’s number 2 shot stopper would be a coup as the player has real talent and at just 29 is entering his prime as a goalkeeper. The Hammers were rumoured in January to be looking at bringing another former Allardyce player to the Boleyn Ground in Paul Robinson, a keeper who has always been a consistent performer at Premier League level but is now stuck in the mud at Blackburn Rovers and is currently ruled out for six months with a blood clot in his lung.
If Paolo Di Canio is unable to prevent Sunderland slipping down to the Championship then there should certainly be calls made about Belgian international Simon Mignolet, though he may have eyes for clubs challenging for Europe. Another Belgian shot stopper who could be on the Hammers radar is Athletico Madrid’s loan signing from Chelsea, Thibaut Courtois, a player who has spent two very impressive seasons on loan in the Spanish capital.
It is rumoured that Chelsea are looking for Courtois to gain some Premier League experience before challenging their number 1 Petr Cech. Whilst the club and supporters should be pleased that Jääskeläinen has signed up for a second season at the Boleyn Ground, it must also be a summer transfer window priority to sign a top quality goalkeeper to compete with Jussi for that number 1 jersey that is waiting to be snapped up.