HJK Helsinki (Finland),
Chelsea (England), Crystal Palace (England), Chelsea (England),
Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany), Birmingham City (England),
Mikael Forssell (born March 15, 1981 in Steinfurt, Germany) is a
Finnish international footballer. He is under contract with
Starting his career in 1997 as a youth player at HJK Helsinki in
Finland, Mikael was soon spotted by the then Chelsea manager,
Gianluca Vialli. Vialli soon picked up the youngster on a free
transfer, and he had an immediate impact on the English Premier
However, he found it hard to find a place in the Chelsea first
team, with players like Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur
Gudjohnsen above him in the pecking order and was loaned to
Crystal Palace for the remainder of the 1999/2000 season.
Scoring 3 goals in 13 games, Mikael impressed at Selhurst Park,
and was signed on loan for a further year, making 31 starts in
the 2000/2001 season and scoring 13 league goals, helping Palace
stay in the then First Division.
His impressive stint at Crystal Palace meant other clubs were
more than eager to take him on for the 2001/2002 season, but
Chelsea decided to keep him at the club and nurture his talent
there. Although he could still not break into the starting
eleven on a regular basis, he made several substitute
appearances, and finished the season with 9 goals.
The striker still struggled to make the first team, and in
January 2003 was loaned out to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Scoring 7 goals in 12 matches, Forssell showed he had what it
takes to make it in Germany, and Borussia wanted to take him on
for another season. But Premiership team Birmingham City took
him on for the 2003/2004 season.
Forssell removed any and all doubt that he couldn't make it in
the Premiership, and impressed thoroughly scoring 17 goals in 32
appearances for The Blues
The player was hugely popular at St. Andrews, and Steve Bruce
sought to keep him there for another season. However, the young
player was hampered by injuries, and had to have major surgery
on his knee, meaning he would miss out on the 2004/2005 Season.
It's unclear whether Mikael will feature in José Mourinho's
plans at Chelsea, but one thing is known for sure, Mikael is
pure class and an exciting prospect for the future.