Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Forssell: Mikael Kaj (Mikael)

2011-2012 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)

Striker

Born: Steinfurt, West Germany: 15-03-1981

Debut v Crystal Palace (h) (Substitute): 10-09-2011

60 13st 8lb (2011)

Forssell started his football career with HJK Helsinki making his debut for the club as a sixteen year old in 1997. He signed for them in August 1997 and had scored once in twelve starts and five games as a substitute by the end of the 1997/98 season, having represented Finland at youth level and built himself a goalscoring reputation at that international level. It was that record that brought him to the attention of Chelsea and they signed him on a free-transfer on 31st July 1998. Still only seventeen, he seemed destined for a spell in the Pensioner's Youth and lower League teams, but he impressed so much, that his elevation to Reserve team level soon followed. It came as no surprise when he received his call up to the first team on 31st January 1999, as a substitute as Arsenal inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Chelsea at Highbury, which saw Manchester United depose them as EPL leaders. He made a spectacular entrance in his run on debut in the next game in the Fourth Round Replay of the F.Cup in a 4-2 win over Oxford United. He scored twice, the first in the first minute of the second half and the second seven minutes later as he put the game beyond the visitors at 4-1, before being substituted in the sixty-sixth minute. He started the next home game against Southampton, playing sixty-one minutes before being substituted, sat on the bench in the 1-0 Fifth Round F.A. Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, and came off the bench for two minutes in the home 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers in the EPL, before being given a starting role in the away EPL fixture with Nottingham Forest on 20th February 1999. It took him just six minutes to find the back of the net and start Chelsea on the way to a 3-1 win that kept them in second place four points behind the leaders with a game in hand. Brian Laurup had left and, in the absence of the injured Tore Andre Flo and Pierluigi Casaraghi, the young Forssell had started to cement his place in the Chelsea first team. In his first season he scored once in four starts and six games from the bench in the EPL and twice in one start and two substitute appearances in the F.A. Cup. It came as a surprise to the young Finn, when big money-signing Chris Sutton was handed the striker's jersey to partner Tore Andre Flo in attack, as the former Blackburn man fired blanks, but Zola, Poyet and Wise scored heavily from midfield or auxiliary strikers to compensate. This saw Forssell loaned out to Crystal Palace from 23rd February 2000 to the end of the season, scoring three times in thirteen starts in the League, making just one start in the League Cup and one in European competition for Chelsea. Worse was to follow as the club brought in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen, as Flo and Sutton departed, and Forsell was was allowed to stay with Crystal Palace for the entire 2000-01 season. He scored thirteen goals in the League in thirty-one starts and eight games from the bench, and a further two in eight starts in the League Cup, while being unable to open his account in one start and one substitute appearance in the F.A. Cup. He returned to Stamford Bridge and after Gianluca Vialli had departed, his replacement, Claudio Ranieri, who was appointed on 17th September 2000, decided to give Forssell a chance to prove himself. He came on as a fifty-fourth minute substitute in the 2-0 away win over Levski Sofia in the UEFA Cup on 27th September 2001, but did not score. He was given a second chance as he came on at the start of the second half and scored in the sixtieth minute as Chelsea beat Coventry City 2-0 in an away win in the League Cup on 9th October 2001. He was starting to get regular appearances in almost every game, but always as a second-half substitute and he found it hard to find the net. Then, all of a sudden, he hit a fine seam of goalscoring form. Coming on as a sixty-fifth minute substitute, on 12th January 2002, he fired Chelsea into a 2-1 lead against Bolton Wanderers with his first touch, as Graeme Le Saux hit a low ball from the left and Jody Morris ran over it, for Forssell to strike a left-footed shot past Jaaskelainen for his first League goal of the season. In the following game, a 4-0 home win over Norwich City on Wednesday, 16th January 2002, in a Third Round F.A. Cup Replay at Stamford Bridge, he came on as a sixty-second minute substitute, and, after twice having gone close, made no mistake with his third chance and put Chelsea 4-0 up with one minute to go. Chelsea were already three goals to the good when he came on as a seventy-ninth minute substitute for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink against West Ham United at home on 20th January 2002, but he made it 5-1 in the final minute, as he tucked away a through ball from Stanic. He also scored in the 5-1 defeat at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup Sem-Final Second Leg on 23rd January 2002 after coming on as a sixty-sixth minute substitute for Emmanuel Petit, and he scored in the last minute to make it four goals in four consecutive substitute appearances. However, he could never establish himself as a first choice striker and finished the season with four League goals in twenty-two games of which twenty were as a substitute, in the F.A. Cup he notched three goals in six games, of which four were as a substitute, while in the League Cup he scored three goals from four games, all off the bench, and failed to score in three substitute appearances in the UEFA Cup. He picked up an injury in 2002-03 and spent the rest of the season from 31st January 2003 on loan to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga and at least was able to make the starting eleven, and benefit from it, as he scored seven times in twelve starts. There was no place for him, however, at Stamford Bridge as the Abramovich millions kept a plentiful oversupply of strikers on the books. He moved on loan to Birmingham City on 28th August 2003 for the whole of the 2003-04 season, making just one appearance for Chelsea, on 13th August 2003 in the away fixture with MSK Zilina in the UEFA Champions League Preliminary Round (First Leg), when he featured in the run-on team, before being replaced by Jesper Gronkjaer after fifty-seven mimutes. He had an outstanding season for Birmingham City, scoring seventeen goals from thirty-two starts in the League, two goals in four games in the F.A. Cup, of which one was from the bench and he also made one substitute appearance in the League Cup. Chelsea were happy for Forssell to remain on loan at St Andrew's in the following season, but he only managed four starts in the League before picking up a knee injury which saw him return to Stamford Bridge on 6th January 2005, as he struggled to regain fitness. He did managed two games for Chelsea, but only cameos, as he arrived as an eighty-ninth minute substitute in the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final (First Leg) at Bayern Munich on 6th April 2005 and at home to Charlton Athletic in the EPL on 7th May 2005, when he came on as a sixty-seventh minute substitute, but was there to help Chelsea celebrate the winning of the EPL Championship. On 10th June 2005 Birmingham City secured his permanent transfer for 3 million. In his time at Stamford Bridge, which had covered almost a seven year period, his record was five League goals in six starts and twenty-seven substitute appearances, five goals in three starts and six substitute appearances in the F.A. Cup, two goals in one start and four substitute appearances in the League Cup and no goals in two starts and four games from the bench in European competition. In his first season of 2005-06 he struggled to score as his new club fought a losing battle against relegation from the EPL. He scored three times in the League in twenty-seven games, of which seventeen were from the bench, three more in the F.A. Cup from four starts and one substitute appearance and twice in three League Cup games, of which one was as a substitute. A knee injury in training in October 2006 saw him sidelined for several months and it was decided that he should undergo surgery on both knees in an attempt to get his career back on track. He returned to training with the club in February 2007. He had a trial with Hamburg SV, but failed his medical, and so he remained at St Andrew's, but his tally for the 2006-07 season remained at one League goal in three starts and five appearances as a substitute and two starts in the League Cup without scoring. Birmingham had fought their way back to EPL status and he started the 2007-08 pre-season in good touch, scoring five times in five games, much to the delight of Manager Steve Bruce. On 12th August 2007 he played a full game in the season opener against Chelsea, and gave his former club a surprise when he opened the scoring for the visitors at Stamford Bridge, but it was Chelsea's day as they won 3-2. He did have on highlight, when he scored his first EPL hat-trick as Birmingham surprisingly beat Tottenham Hotspur on 1st March 2008 by 4-1, to temporarily move out of the relegation zone. Once more, however it proved a losing fight as they were relegated. Forssell finished up as the leading goalscorer with nine League goals from thirty appearances, of which nine were from the bench and he also started one F.A. Cup and one League Cup matches, without scoring. His final three year stay at St Andrew's had yielded thirteen League goals from thirty-four starts and thirty-one games from the bench, three goals in five starts and one game from the bench in the F.A. Cup and two goals in the League Cup from a similar five starts and one substitute appearance. His contract with Birmingham had run out and he joined Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga on 1st July 2008 on a three year contract in a free transfer and caused a minor sensation. On 12th July 2008 he scored ten goals on debut, including a hat-trick in the first eight minutes, as his new team won 23-0, albeit against amateur opposition in a pre-season friendly. In his first season he scored seven times from thirty starts and ten games from the bench, in the Bundesliga and made one twenty minute substitute appearance in the Cup, but the second season of 2009-10 saw him restricted to two starts in the Bundesliga and a sixteen minute substitute appearance in the Cup and one full game for the second team in which he failed to score. His final season of 2010-11 at Hannover saw him mainly used from the bench, making one start and eleven substitute appearances in the League and one fifty-four minute substitute appearance in a Cup game that went into extra-time. He was released by Hannover at the end of his contract after seven goals in forty-seven matches for the first team, in all competitions of which twenty-four were as a substitute. After trials with both Leeds and West Ham United, Leeds gave him further trials which resulted in him signing a contract on 8th September 2011, which took him to the end of the season. On 10th September 2011 he made his Leeds debut as a fifty-eigth minute substitute in a 3-2 home win over one of his former clubs in Crystal Palace, and Forssell had a part in Ross McCormack's winner in the closing stages. He made his run-on debut for Leeds on 21st January 2012 in a 3-1 win over Ipswich Town at Elland Road. It was his only starting appearance for Leeds and apart from a total of sixteen appearances as a substitute, he also was an unused substitute on seven occasions. When he applied for a trial with Leeds he became the sixth senior striker on the club's books and his task to establish himself was always going to be a hard one, but after failing to find the net in any of the games he had featured in, allbeit with minimal oppurtunities in the games involved, he would not have been surprised when at the end of the season he was not offered an extension of his contract by Neil Warnock. Forssell made his International debut for Finland on 23rd September 1996 at Under-Sixteen level and it was not long before he had become a full international, making his debut on 9th June 1999 in a 0-0 away draw against Moldova in a European Championship qualifier. He is still a regular player for the Finnish national team and having played twice since he joined Leeds. He has now amassed eighty-one appearances, sixty-two when he started and nineteen when used as a substitute. He has also scored twenty-six goals to the end of 2011. His stand out performance was when he scored both goals against his native country of Germany in a 2-2 draw in a World Cup qualifier on 2nd June 2001. More recently he scored a hat-trick in an 8-0 European Qualification game at home to San Marino on 17th November 2010. It was his second hat-trick for his country, having achieved the feat previously in a World Cup Qualifying match in Tempere, when the hosts beat Macedonia on 7th September 2005.

AppearancesGoals
League 1/140
F.A. Cup 0/10
League Cup 0/10