973 Eldin Jakupovic

Biography

Goalkeeper Jakupovic was signed by City manager Nick Barmby in March 2012 after a successful trial period, adding depth to the cast of netminders available to a succession of managers over five seasons.  His career at City can be described in three parts. 

Part One was the 2012/13 season, around Christmas time Eldin got himself in the first team and kept a number of clean sheets before a horrid blooper against Sheffield Wednesday saw him drop the ball through his legs for a goal and then feign injury ludicrously.  While injuries to other goalies meant he kept his place for a couple more matches, trust in Jakupovic had clearly been weakened and he entered Part Two, a period of bench wilderness that lasted three seasons, studded by two successful loan spells at Leyton Orient in the second half of the 2013/14 season that yielded 13 senior appearances. 

By the 2015/16 season Jakupovic was used by Hull City mainly as a Cup keeper and he turned in some splendid performances that extended into the following season, creating a degree of cult status around the agreeable Swiss.  Part Three then arrived when Marco Silva joined City and preferred Jakupovic to the maligned David Marshall – for the first time in five years Eldin became the undisputed first choice City keeper and performed with reliability and excellence. At the end of 2016/17 season Jakupovic was established as a Premier League goalkeeper of note – but Marco Silva had left City and the Tigers were relegated to the Championship, leading inevitably to Jakupovic looking for pastures new. 

Born in Prijedor, then in Yugoslavia and now in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Eldin Jakupovic’s family moved to Switzerland when he was a child to escape the ravages of the Balkan Wars.  He began his football career at Grasshoppers Zurich, sitting on the bench as early as September 2001 but finally making his debut in August 2004 against FC Schaffhausen and making 13 senior appearances in the 2004/05 season. In the 2005 close season he moved to Swiss rivals FC Thun and quickly established himself as a first team regular after his debut in July 2005 against FC Aarau.  His 37 appearances for Thun included six starts in the Champions League and two more in the UEFA Cup, by March 2006 his form had attracted the interest of Russian League giants Lokomotiv Moscow. Eldin made six appearances for Lokomotiv during the remainder of the 2005/06 season and added 22 appearances in the 2006/07 season that pinnacled in May 2007 when he started the Russian Cup final for Lokomotiv against FC Moscow, with Eldin’s side prevailing 1-0 after extra time. These 28 appearances comprised Eldin’s entire body of work for Lokomotiv Moscow.

In July 2007 Jakupovic returned to Switzerland when he sealed a season-long loan deal at Grasshoppers Zurich, making 25 senior appearances. He returned to Zurich on loan for the 2008/09 season and added a further 43 senior appearances before missing the entire 2009/10 season while nominally back at Lokomotiv Moscow, leaving the club in January 2010. In July 2010 Jakupovic returned to the professional game when he signed for Greek side Olympiakos Volou where he made 36 appearances during the 2010/11 season, adding a further three appearances in the Europa League at the start of the 2011/12 season. In August 2011 Eldin transferred to Greek Super League rivals Aris Thessaloniki, but he made only one appearance for Aris in his only season for the club – in November 2011 against Olympiacos Piraeus – before heading to Hull City in March 2012.

City’s relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2016/17 season made it inevitable that Eldin would cash in on his restored reputation as a reliable first team starter and he returned to the Premier League with Leicester City on a three year deal that was later twice extended.  Eldin was never a first team regular and managed only seven starts in four years at Leicester, three of which came for the Under-21 side in the EFL Trophy. He left the Foxes in June 2022 on expiry of his last contract.

In September 2022, after three months without a club, Jakupovic signed a short term deal for Premier League side Everton who were struggling with a glut of goalkeeping injuries. He sat on the bench unused for one Premier League game against West Ham United, then in January 2023 he headed across the Atlantic and signed for MLS side Los Angeles FC. He made his debut against Austin in April 2023 and added three more appearances for LAFC before his release in December 2023.

Jakupovic debuted for the Bosnia & Herzegovina Under-21 side in June 2004 against Slovenia and made two further appearances for the Bosnian Under-21 side in June 2005. A month later in July 2005 he switched allegiances to Switzerland and played for their Under-21 side against Qatar, adding two further Under-21 caps in March and April 2006. In May 2008 he was called up for the senior Switzerland squad ahead of the Euro 2008 finals, sitting on the bench throughout the tournament finals hosted by Austria and Switzerland. Jakupovic was eventually awarded his first and only senior cap for Switzerland in August 2008 against Cyprus.

Details

Nationality: Switzerland
Date/Place of Birth: 2 October 1984, Prijedor (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Hull City First Game: 21 December 2012, Derby County A (Championship), 28 years, 80 days old
Hull City Final Game: 14 May 2017, Crystal Palace A (Premier League), 32 years, 224 days old

Clubs

Grasshoppers Zurich (2002-2005), FC Thun (2005-2006), FC Lokomotiv Moscow (2006-2009), Grasshoppers Zurich (2007-2009, loan), Olympiakos Volou (2010-2011), Aris Salonika (2011-2012), Hull City (2012-2017), Leyton Orient (2014, loan 1), Leyton Orient (2014, loan 2), Leicester City (2017-2022), Everton (2022-2023), Los Angeles FC (2023)

Hull City Record

Career: 54 apps, 0 goals

Eldin Jakupovic
SeasonLGE
App
LGE
Gls
FAC
App
FAC
Gls
FLC
App
FLC
Gls
EUR
App
EUR
Gls
OTH
App
OTH
Gls
2011/12
2012/135 (0)03 (0)0
2013/141 (0)01 (0)0
2014/152 (1)0
2015/162 (0)04 (0)05 (0)03 (0)0
2016/1722 (0)02 (0)03 (0)0

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