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Determined Eetu Vertainen insists stunning four-goal Linfield haul should prove point to St Johnstone

Eetu Vertainen has returned to Linfield.
Eetu Vertainen has returned to Linfield.

Finnish star Eetu Vertainen has fired a four-goal message to St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson.

The Perth club’s summer signing was sent out on loan to Northern Ireland top flight leaders Linfield in the January window.

And he found the net four times in a 5-0 weekend thrashing of struggling Dungannon Swifts.

Vertainen, 22, failed to claim a regular start for Saints after being quarantined on his arrival in Scotland.

Eetu Vertainen's last appearance was against Rangers.
Eetu Vertainen’s last appearance for St Johnstone was against Rangers at Ibrox

But he is hoping to follow the loan route to Davidson’s first team plotted by weekend goal hero Callum Hendry, who bagged a double as Saints beat Motherwell 2-1.

Hendry’s last gasp wonder strike opened-up a four point advantage on Tayside rivals Dundee in the Premiership basement.

The Dens Park side took an early lead against Rangers on Sunday but conceded late in the game to lose 2-1.

Hendry, 24, has revived his Perth career on the back of a loan at Kilmarnock in the Championship, with six goals in 10 games.

Like Hendry, the Perth coaching team are keeping an eye on Vertainen’s progress on loan.

The former Finland U21 international was thrilled to get off the mark in style.

“I’ve never scored four goals in a game before at professional level,” Vertainen told the Belfast Telegraph.

“I’ve scored a few hat-tricks, but never four. What made it special was my brother Vella and his friend were over for the game.

“When you go on loan, you need to prove yourself, not only for your new team, but for the team you left.

“I think I’ve been doing that.

“I’ve been confident in my previous games but I knew the goals would come.

“As a striker, I have to score goals.

I think I have something to prove to St Johnstone and the only way to do that is score goals.

“But my focus is on helping Linfield win the League title. That’s the most important thing for me and the club.

“I knew the demands at Linfield.

“The expectation levels are high, but I was used to that when I played for HJK Helsinki in Finland.

Eetu Vertainen in international action for Finland U21s
Eetu Vertainen in international action for Finland U21s

“There is also a lot demanded of them. They are expected to win leagues and cups. It’s the same at Linfield.”

Delighted Linfield manager David Healy, the former Rangers striker, was thrilled for his loan signing, who helped open up a four-point lead on title rivals Cliftonville.

“I knew Eetu would come to our club with a little bit of a point to prove – I think he is in the process of doing that.

“I was pleased for Eetu; pleased with his goals, pleased with his contribution, pleased with the clean sheet and pleased with the three points.”

4 St Johnstone talking points as Callum Hendry takes a step closer to club folklore and Perth fans get a glimpse of a Steven MacLean future

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