Athens Kallithea FC announce the acquisition of Finnish striker Eetu Vertainen from Italian Serie C club Triestina on loan until 31 December 2023 with an option to extend to 30 June 2024.
Vertainen, 24, is a former Finland youth international and a three-time winner of Finland’s top division with the country’s most successful club, HJK. After a move to the Scottish Premier League with St. Johnstone, Vertainen scored 17 goals in 30 games while on loan to Linfield in the Northern Ireland Premiership last season.
Born in Espoo, Vertainen came through the youth academy at HJK and made his first team debut in January 2017. Vertainen would score 13 goals with six assists in 76 appearances over four seasons for HJK, as the club won three Finnish league titles (2017, 2018, 2020) and two Finnish Cups (2017, 2020). Vertainen made five total appearances in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualification during his time with HJK.
After leaving HJK for Ilves in January 2021, Vertainen would score four goals in 11 appearances in the first half of the 2021 Veikkausliiga season and earn a transfer to the Scottish Premier League with St. Johnstone in September 2021.
Vertainen made seven league appearances in the first half of the 2021/22 season for St. Johnstone and spent the second half of the season on loan to Northern Ireland Premiership club Linfield, where he scored four goals with one assist in 10 appearances to help the club win the league title. Vertainen extended his loan with Linfield through the 2022/23 season, scoring 19 goals with six assists in 43 appearances across all competitions, including three appearances between UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualification.
In international football, Vertainen represented Finland at the Under-18, Under-19, and Under-21 levels.