West Ham have announced the signing of Jack Wilshere on a three-year contract after the England midfielder was released by Arsenal.
Wilshere was a free agent after his career-long association with Arsenal came to an end following the appointment of Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s successor.
The midfielder has not played for England since Euro 2016 but was called up by Gareth Southgate for pre-World Cup friendlies, only to be forced to pull out of the squad due to injury, and he was overlooked for the group that travelled to Russia.
Fitness issues have marred Wilshere’s career but the 26-year-old will be able to make a fresh start at West Ham under Manuel Pellegrini.
“It feels good, it feels special,” said Wilshere, who has family that support West Ham. “Many people know that I’ve had a special bond with this club growing up.
“People will have seen the picture of me in a West Ham shirt and I’ve got good memories of my childhood supporting West Ham, watching them at Upton Park. It feels good and of course my family and a few of my friends are West Ham fans so everyone’s buzzing.”
Everton were among the clubs also linked with Wilshere but the midfielder had no doubts about joining West Ham.
“I think it was a number of things – the manager being one and the way he wants to play and where he sees me playing,” Wilshere said.
“The fans, of course – everyone knows how big West Ham’s fanbase is – and especially in this new stadium. Not many clubs could fill it week in, week out, and West Ham do.
“I want to be playing here in front of the Hammers, and my bond I’ve had with the club over my childhood will make it even more special.”
Wilshere will now link up with Pellegrini’s squad at West Ham’s pre-season training camp in Switzerland.