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23/01/23

Miko Virtanen Joins The Journey

We are delighted to announce the signing of Finnish midfielder Miko Virtanen.

Miko, who has represented his country at under-19 and under-21 levels, has agreed a deal until the end of the current campaign, with a view to extending the contract in the summer.

The twenty-three-year-old began his career in the Everton youth academy, and joined Aberdeen FC in 2017. He had two successful loan spells with Arbroath, where he played more than thirty matches, and after being recalled, made his Dons debut in January 2021.

The Finn left Pittodrie to Join Hamilton and was a regular in the Accies side throughout the 2021-22 season.

His game time was more limited this time round after suffering a heel injury – although he did play against us in the 4-4 draw at New Douglas Park in October – and Miko negotiated his release earlier this month.

Manager Paul Hartley says the midfielder caught his eye during a trial period:

“He brings strength to the middle of the pitch, but he’s versatile and can play a few different positions. He can play central, he can play on the right, at right-back, I think he could play as a number ten, so good versatility, and he’s hungry to succeed.

“And he’s a good age, one we definitely think can help us between now and the end of the season.

“We kept an eye on him when he was at Aberdeen, we actually tried to get him on loan then, but he went to Arbroath and had a good spell there. He’s now got a fair bit of experience, has played fifty games in the Championship, so he knows the league pretty well, and can make a big contribution for us in the second half of the season.”

Miko is looking forward to embarking on the next stage of his career at Balmoral Stadium:

“I’ve been training with the squad over the last week and the lads have been great, so it’s good to get the deal done and the paperwork signed. I already knew a few of the players, so that helps, and the sessions I’ve done have been of a high quality.

“I came close to joining up with Cove in the past. I spoke to the manager, we had a few conversations, but for one reason or another, it just never worked out, so I’m really looking forward to working with him.

“I think midfield is my best position, but I can be pretty versatile and that will be down to the manager. I do like the defensive side, but I’ll play wherever I’m asked to if that helps the team.

“I know the league, which helps, and I’ve picked up a fair bit of experience. The injuries didn’t help, but I feel that’s behind me now. I’m fit, and having lived up here previously, it’s nice to be back. I’ve also played a lot of games at the stadium for Aberdeen reserves, so that will help me to settle in too.

With Paul Hartley reshaping the squad following his return to the club, Miko hopes to make the most of the chance he has been given:

“I guess it’s up to me. I’ve got six months to prove my worth and that I deserve a longer contract, but the most important thing is getting some games and helping the team get the points we’re going to need to stay in the Championship.”

Miko will wear the number fourteen shirt.

Our exclusive interview with Miko Virtanen can be viewed at the Cove Rangers FC YouTube channel.

Article Copyright © 2023. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and to www.coverangersfc.com

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