West Ham United have announced the signing of Jack Wilshere on a three-year contract following his release by Arsenal.
The midfielder, 26, left the Gunners after 17 years when his contract expired last month.
Born in Hertfordshire, Wilshere grew up in a family of Irons supporters. “It feels good, it feels special,” he said on West Ham’s website.
“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.”
Wilshere, who won the FA Cup twice with Arsenal and has 34 England caps, is set to fly out to Switzerland to link up with new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini’s squad at their pre-season training camp.
West Ham director of football Mario Husillos added: “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.
“Jack is a player with vast experience and quality at the highest level, having played all of his career in the Premier League.
“On the biggest stage, he has shown that he has game-changing abilities, as well as having the creativity and intelligence to make a real difference to our squad.”
Borussia Dortmund’s Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko is another reported target, with a deal in the region of £17.5million said to be in the pipeline.
As for Arsenal, they look to tie up a deal for Uruguay midfielder Alex Torreira, which could be one of the reasons they let Jack Wilshere leave, and also look to secure the long-term future of Welshman Aaron Ramsey.