20 Year-Old Finnish Defender Jukka Raitala In Tyneside Trial


Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear has handed a third player a trial at the club this week, as he looks to strengthen his squad in the next two weeks.

jukka-raitala

Jukka Raitala
– on trial at Newcastle this week

The much pursued HJK Helsinki left-back Jukka Raitala has arrived at St James’ Park for a week’s trial hoping for a deal by7 the end of thew week, and we suspect he played in today’s trial game against Carlisle United.

The 20 year-old has played 46 times for HJK Helsinki and has played 10 times for the Finland Under-21 side, is two-footed and can play anywhere across the back four, and from what we can tell Jukka looks more than a decent defender.

Jukka Raitala was born in September, 1988, in Kerava, Finland and currently plays for Finnish first division side HJK of Veikkausliiga.

He stands 5’11” tall and he is considered one of the most promising young footballers in Finland, and he is free agent in the summer.

There are various teams interested in the player, including AEK Athens, Ajax and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and his transfer price is thought to be in the region of £500K.

Only last November, West Bromwich Albion invited him for a trial at their club, but the youngster never made the trip and he is extremely  keen to guarantee his place in the Finland’s 2009 European Under-21 Championship team.

HJK’s sporting director told the official HJK website today:

“Newcastle is a really high-class club.”

“Jukka played well last season in the league and the Under-21 team gave him his chance.”

“We wish Jukka good luck on behalf of the whole club.”

Raitala now joins Peter Lovenkrands and 18-year-old Hungarian winger Andras Gosztonyi already on trial at Newcastle. So maybe Raitalka is the defender Kinnear is hoping to sign by Friday – we don’t know if that’s true or not.

Maybe this lad’s the next Sami Hyypia.   😀

Comments welcome.



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220 comments so far

  • Piers

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #1

    Thanks for posting, Ed………sounds good!

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  • Kash

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #2

    I think he could be the new Aaron Hughes. Lets hope he impressed and is decent!

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  • Toon_Fresh

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #3

    Good news i suppose…

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  • sweendog

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #4

    Sounds good Ed .. I’ll bet he’ll end up making first choice LB by the end of the season.

    On a side note why can’t be bid for Modeste M’bami .. his contract is up at the end of the season so should be available for the 4mill or less JFK is tauting around ..

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  • Toon Sweden77

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #5

    I had hope that the defender we were suposed to sign on friday was an experienced player. But I wont complain, just nice to see someone comming in.

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  • RyanToon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #6

    so with shay look like his going and maybe johnson and onourha coming here, our team for the city game could be

    harper

    onourha coloccini bassong enrique

    barton johnson guthrie jonas

    owen carroll

    and man citys poss team

    given ( legend but i think hell leave)

    zabaleta richards kompany bridge

    wrightphillips ireland de jong elano

    robinho bellamy

    who wins, YOU DECIDE

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #7

    This guy is mainly a LB I think.

    Was reported bout 3 days ago he was one trial.

    As soon as you see Ajax after a youngster, automatically you say: ‘sign him up!’.

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  • DanToon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #8

    If he’s owt like Hyypia then i’ll be more than happy!

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  • Archie Mag

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #9

    Competition for Enrique. Hope he impressed today. Wonder when we’ll hear about the practice game in more detail, ie whos getting contract offers and who isn’t.

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  • RyanToon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #10

    tomtoon

    hopefully hell replace enrique:)

    but i sure i heard jk say the other day the trialist wont be in and around the first team for some time

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  • Archie Mag

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #11

    Exactly TT if Ajax are even remotely interested he must have something, some of the best scouts in the world over in Hamsterjam.

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  • Steve R

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #12

    We def need to loan a striker cuz Carroll ain’t going to score on a regular basis. If the mackem’s could get Cisse on loan we should be able to get someone of similar quality. Hull also got Marlon King on loan so there is no reason we should not try the loan approach and especially loan with the option to buy.

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  • Tom

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #13

    As I posted on the other article, as well as him and the hungarian, we also have two norwegians on trial.

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  • RyanToon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #14

    : )

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  • Steve R

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #15

    Phil Brown is a clever man cuz he also managed to get Manucho on loan. Anyone who watched the AFCON 2008 would see how much crazy potential he has. Also, what about Giovanni from Totenham? It’s not like he has had many opportunities for Tottenham

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  • Archie Mag

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #16

    …back on our GK problem for a second, i’ve started to come round to the idea that either Shay or Harps has to leave, purely because if one of them doesn’t go we’re risking losing Krul which would be disasterous for our future. He’s going to be world class, its time he was at least our number 2.

    As for which one i’d like to go – Given or Harper… i’d hate to have to decide. Given would free up more funds to strengthen other areas, though he is arguably slightly better than harps. But £10mil better??…

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  • RyanToon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #17

    archiemag

    personally id rather keep given, but if man city offer us 9m plus johnson and onourha i think we should do the deal but i will always love shay for his loyality to our great club

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  • Tom

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #18

    Archie

    For me, if one had to go, then let it be Shay. Harps is almost as good, and it would be great to see him get a chance in our number 1 shirt!

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  • Ben_BKK

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #19

    At 20 he’ll surely be coming straight into the first team. Better than just ones for the future at least, and if he’s been scouted by Ajax he must be good

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  • Tom

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #20

    You would think he has a chance of playing some first team games for us, especially if N’Zogbia leaves and Enrique is injured!

    TT is right though, sometimes its best to look at who else is linked with a player to make a judgement!

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  • Danish_Magpie

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #21

    Collecting my thoughts about transfers, I would do the following:

    Sell Given for 9m plus Johnson and Onuoha.
    Sell Geremi for 1m (give him the 500K extra from 1.5m fee to shut up about wages and move on)
    Butt – Let him stay but do not extend contract
    Viduka – Let him stay but do not extend contract
    Cacapa – Offer to release him on free/ pay him 100-200K to leave
    Smith – Sell for 3m+ if a buyer can be found. If not, sell him in the summer
    Owen – Unfortunately not by choice. He will be leaving us. A shame, but clears up wage budget and he is injured often.
    Edgar: Not quite good enough. Good luck to him somewhere else. Let his contract run out.

    Sum OUT: 10-13m

    I would then bring in:
    Harper (extension): When Given is sold, make Harper first-choice, give him a decent 2-3 year contract. Good, steady keeper and will help Krul and Foster develop too.
    Finnan (1.5m) – He played recently for Espanyol and should be fit enough. Give him a 2.5-year contract that can be terminated after 1.5 years if he has played less than 20 games.

    Appiah (free) – Yes of course there is a fitness gamble, but give him a short-term deal that turns into a long-term one if he is fit from this summer etc. Cracking player.
    Fred (free) – Has had some discipline problem, but worth the gamble. Get him signed up on a longer term deal pending decent behavior etc. the first six months.
    McGeady – Sign him for 3-4m plus Damien Duff (Huge wages). Celtic and Duffy should both be interested in this.
    Colin Kazim-Richards (Loan to buy for 4m) – Has been in and out of favour in Turkey. Knows the English game and can make things happen. Alternatively try to sign Pennant in the summer if Kazim does not impress.
    Nick Shorey (3.5m) – Out of favour at Villa. They would be tempted with a bid of 3.5-4m.
    Sum IN: 8-12m

    Even though we allegedly have 8-10m to spend now, net spending for these transfers would be pretty much 0 disregarding signing on-fees etc. Our wages would also be slashed (certainly by summer) as Owen, Geremi, Butt, Viduka, Duff, Cacapa, Given are huge earners. Even with new signings, this would bring down the total wage expenses.

    Squad would be:

    GK: Harper, Krul, Foster

    RB: Beye, Finnan
    LB: Shorey, Enrique
    CB: Coloccini, Bassong, Onuoha, Taylor
    , (Edgar until summer)

    RW: Colin Kazim-Richards/Pennant, LuaLua
    LW: Jonas, McGeady
    CM: Barton, Guthrie, Johnson, Appiah (Butt until summer)

    ST: Martins, Fred, Carroll, Shola, Xisco, (Viduka and Smith until summer, if we cannot sell Smith this winter)

    Which I think is a really strong squad both in quality and depth. The youngsters can provide backup in several positions.

    Sorry for the long post, I just think we could assemble a hell of a squad with limited resources. I know it isn’t Football Manager, but these aren’t FM deals either.. Just shrewd business in my opinion.

    What do you guys think?

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  • craig s chisholm

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #22

    fairly old news this now but looks good none the less. i am all for given leaving if we get good money and johnson in return – good business. we have good enough cover between the posts until the summer, even if given goes.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #23

    RyanToon – That was for the 2 Norwegians and the Sweedish player.

    As Ben said, at 20 he should be first team material.

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  • Toon Sweden77

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #24

    Archie, one of them seems to want to get out of toon, wich we cant blame him for, therefore, Harper stays.

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  • The Real Entertainers

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #25

    I kind of wish we could fast forward 5 years.

    We are improving the youth squad constantly and this is the ONLY area Ashley has ‘moved forward’ with the club.

    Really happy about it.

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  • Mickalonius

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #26

    Everyone seems very down at the moment and yes things are at an all too familiar low point, but lets not forget things can get get better !!! How about a bit of optimism !!! Lets get behind the Manager and team !!!! No more wallowing ! TOON TOON TOON ARMY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • hitman

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #27

    lets hope hes better than enrique

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #28

    For some reason I am really excited about this Finnish lad. I love when clubs sign wild cards from leagues like Finland. Very exciting.

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  • Mickalonius

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #29

    Tom_Toon – Good start !!!!

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  • batty

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #30

    lets hope it true

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  • HalftimeBovril

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #31

    I’m seriously considering being cryogenically frozen for about 5 years, by the time I wake up we should have a pretty decent team going. Has anybody out there perfected the art of time travel yet? If so how about you take a quick peak at the fortunes of the Toon so we don’t have to go through all this turmoil and accept our fate.

    You could see what all the big sporting event results are, whack some money on and see the cash roll in ala Back to the Future 2 with the sports almanac. Buy out Ashley and sign Kaka by the end of the week. Easy problem solved

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  • The Real Entertainers

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #32

    Mickalonius.

    The only way may be up, but what if we havent hit rock bottom yet ?

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  • Toon Sweden77

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #33

    About the swedish player, Ill copy and paste this from another thread:

    There was talk about a swedish U21 player as well but maybe there was a mix up and the finnish guy showed up instead. Been reading the papers to found out if there was any swedes in toon for a trial.

    The only thing I could find was that a swedish U21 player named Mikael Lustig, a defender who plays for Rosenborg in Norway who denied that he was going on a trial at West Ham. This does NOT mean that he is comming to Toon for a trial. Dont want to start a rumour on my own as I think we had enough of rumours already..

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  • RyanToon

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #34

    tomtoon

    oh, i thought he meant all of the trialists, hopefully he starts at man city as ive had enough of jose

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  • Mickalonius

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #35

    I Know, but what good does it do sitting here being depressed ? We have two weeks to get players back from injury and get organised! We might just sign a couple of players, we might just win a game or two !!! You never know!

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  • beyethegreat

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #36

    can u believe citeh criticizing milan for not selling kaka

    who do they think they are

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  • Antti

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #37

    Even if he signed he won’t be seeing first team football in the middle of relegation scrap and that’s a fact. The difference between finnish league and premier league is massive. But it’s good to see Newcastle is searching talent across the world.

    Btw. Hyypia also has been on trial at Newcastle. 🙂 It was in 1995. After that he signed for dutch club Willem II.

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  • Tom

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #38

    TT

    Just to put a slight damper on it, but he hasn’t signed yet! Hopefully he will soon though! (must admit to getting rather excited myself!)

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  • Ross

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #39

    ryan-he wont start against man city. who’s to say we’ll even sign him!? Lovenkrands came on trial, and today he’s playing in the closed doors friendly, yet we’ve still heard nothing more of a move. Just “kinnear is expected to, we think kinnear will, newcastle will probably”.
    However i agree with you TT, i didnt know Ajax were interested in this lad as i’ve never heard of him, but thats a promising factor. We need players to keep us in the prem though, because in a good few years time if we’re stable and still playing top flight, we could end up having a fantastic squad of young, hungry talent when you add players like guthrie and bassong to the list.

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  • valle

    Jan 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #40

    I cant understand why you guys wont give Duff a break, he has been one of our better players and one of the few who wants to attack his oponent.

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