Manuel Almunia's loan spell at West Ham United has come to an end after he returned to his parent club Arsenal reports

The 34-year-old Spanish stopper made four appearances during his time at Upton Park, having been drafted in on an emergency loan deal at the end of September to provide cover for the injured Robert Green.

Having fallen down the Arsenal pecking order, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger agreed to allow Almunia to leave the Emirates Stadium and join the Hammers on a temporary basis.

Green returned to the West Ham line-up for Saturday's 3-2 victory over Leicester City, a game that Almunia opted not to take part in having been offered a place on the bench by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce prior to the kick-off.

Almunia agreed to let third-choice stopper Ruud Boffin take his place, and has instead returned to Arsenal a few days early.

"Manny is an outstanding individual," said Allardyce. "I spoke to him and offered him a place on the bench for his last game but he said to give it to Ruud, because he's here at the club.

"We've enjoyed having him but he's gone back, Ruud was on the bench and Robert came back and made some important saves for us."

After returning to north London, Almunia will now set about the task of getting himself back within first-team contention as he vies with Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski for the No.1 spot at Arsenal.

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