West Ham have announced the signing of Jack Wilshere on a three-year contract after the England midfielder was released by Arsenal.
Wilshere found his playing time limited last season under Arsene Wenger and decided not to accept the club’s contract offer after a meeting with new manager Unai Emery.
Wilshere’s contract thus ran out at the end of June, bringing an end to his 17-year affiliation with the Gunners.
The 26-year-old Englishman reportedly had a number of offers on the table but has decided to put pen to paper with the Hammers, a club Wilshere says has always had a place in his heart.
‘It feels special. Many people know that I’ve had a special bond with this club growing up,’ he said.
‘I’ve got good memories of my childhood supporting West Ham, watching them at Upton Park.’
Wilshere is set to jet out to Switzerland to link up with new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini’s squad at the club’s pre-season training camp.
‘It feels good and of course my family and a few of my friends are West Ham fans so everyone’s buzzing,’ concluded Wilshere.
West Ham director of football Mario Husillos and Pellegrini are said to have looked past the injuries that have hampered Wilshere’s career as they believe he can play an important role in the new squad under the new manager.
‘Manuel and I identified him as a target as soon as we joined the club and we are delighted to have succeeded in securing Jack’s signature above a number of other teams,’ said Husillos on the signing.
Wilshere made 197 first-team appearances for Arsenal and was part of the 2014 and 2015 FA Cup-winning sides.
After spending the 2016-17 campaign on loan at fellow Premier League side Bournemouth, he returned to the Gunners and made 38 appearances last season but was not included in Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad.