Claus Jensen

Premier League Career: Charlton Athletic (2000-2004), Fulham (2004-2007)

Claus Jensen spent over a decade playing in England and had seven seasons playing in the Premier League solely in the capital. The midfielder, who had a strong eye for goal played for four seasons at Charlton Athletic, playing a big role in their best-ever Premier League finish of seventh in 2003-2004. He also spent three years playing for Fulham.

On the international stage, Jensen won 47 caps for Denmark, scoring eight goals. He played for the Danes at the 2002 World Cup finals and the European Championships in 2004, reaching the quarter-finals in the latter.

Jensen made his breakthrough in Denmark, playing for Næstved BK in November 1995. Næstved BK were relegated at the end of his first season in senior football but he earned himself a move to Lyngby in the summer of 1996, joining Dennis Rommedahl at the club. Rommedahl would play alongside Jensen for Denmark too and would ironically turn out to be his replacement at Charlton in 2004.

After 14 league goals in 62 appearances, Jensen left the Danish club game behind in July 1998, joining Bolton Wanderers who were attempting to rebuild after their Premier League relegation a few months earlier. Bolton paid £1.8 million for his services and Jensen became an immediate regular in their midfield, only missing six league games across two seasons. In that time, Bolton made the play-off final but lost to Watford and therefore, missed out on an immediate return to the top-flight. Claus also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup before the Trotters lost on penalties to Aston Villa.

In July 2000, he moved down south to Charlton Athletic for £4 million. Charlton were looking for a bit of playmaking quality on their return to the top-flight and he became a very popular figure, featuring in every single game in 2000-2001, scoring five goals as Charlton finished in a very impressive ninth position in the table. His best season at Charlton and in the Premier League was in 2002-2003. Jensen scored six times in 35 appearances, including a couple of impressive goals against Manchester United although both goals came in losing causes against the Red Devils.

One of his last main acts for Charlton was being involved in the most dramatic finish to any Premier League game in the 2003-2004 season. Charlton were at home to Blackburn Rovers and had let a two-goal lead slip which had seen Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel scoring the equaliser! Seconds later, Friedel had conceded a late winner thanks to one of Jensen’s trademark long-range specials.

It was slightly surprising to see Charlton sell him to London rivals Fulham for just £1.25 million in July 2004. Claus spent three years in west London but was unable to replicate his form from his Charlton days. Across three seasons, he made just 35 appearances, scoring four goals. When Lawrie Sanchez replaced Chris Coleman as Cottagers manager in April 2007, his long-ball tactical approach didn’t suit Jensen’s game so it wasn’t much of a shock to see Jensen not included in Sanchez’s Fulham plans going forwards. He was released days after the 2006-2007 season concluded and in August 2007, elected to retire from the game due to the niggling injury problems he had suffered with throughout his time at Craven Cottage.

He returned to Denmark after retiring and is now a match analyst and commentator for Danish TV on their Premier League coverage.

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