BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibernian have completed their fifth signing of the transfer window by snapping up Finland under-21 goalkeeper Otso Virtanen.
Virtanen, 21, joins from Finnish Premier Division outfit IFK Mariehamn and has penned a three and a half year deal with the Easter Road side.
The 6ft 5in stopper joins fellow January arrivals Chris Dagnall, Niklas Gunnarsson, Anthony Stokes and Kevin Thomson as head coach Alan Stubbs wastes no time in bolstering his squad.
Virtanen, who has been capped eight times at under-21 level, will provide competition for Hibs number one Mark Oxley and his deputy Antonio Reguero.
Stubbs lauded: “Otso is someone we’ve been tracking for a while and I’m delighted that we have concluded the deal. He is a keeper with lots of potential that we’re looking forward to developing.”
Virtanen is keen to follow in the footsteps of fellow Finn Mixu Paatelainen in becoming a firm fans’ favourite, while the likes of Jarkko Wiss, Shefki Kuqi and Jonatan Johansson have also turned out at Easter Road.
The towering keeper told HibsTV: “This is a big club and a traditional club – and I know it has a history for footballers from Finland, so hopefully I can do well.
“I have spoken to Mixu [Paatelainen] a few times and he has always been a good man.
“My goal is to get games at Hibs as soon as possible but I am not in a rush because I am still a young player.
“This is a huge step to move to a new club in a new country, but Scotland isn’t too different from Finland – the weather right now is like the Finnish summer!”