Upton Park newbie completes very intelligent capture.
West Ham manager Avram Grant’s first recruit after signing a three-year deal with the Hammers.
The 28-year-old joins on a free transfer after his contract expired at Lazio, where he played only five times after moving from Stuttgart in January.
“Thomas is a top-quality player who I know the fans will love,” said West Ham chairman David Sullivan.
Hitzlsperger had five years in England with Aston Villa from 2000 to 2005.
He had joined the Villans, then managed by John Gregory, as an 18-year-old from Bayern Munich.
It was at Villa Park where Hitzlsperger, capped 51 times for his country, earned the nickname ‘The Hammer’, owing to his rasping long-range efforts.
But despite establishing himself as a fans’ favourite, he struggled for first-team football during boss David O’Leary’s reign, and in August 2005 departed on a Bosman free transfer to Stuttgart, where he won the Bundesliga in the 2006-07 season and scored 20 goals in 125 appearances.
After he was stripped of the team’s captaincy by manager Marcus Babbel at the end of 2009, Hitzlsperger left for his, ultimately, fruitless spell with Rome side Lazio. (BBC Sport)
Thomas Hitzlsperger has always been a player who has impressed me. The former Aston Villa man is a very talented midfielder who’s brief time at Lazio completed a miserable past 18 months that saw the German ousted from his role as captain of Stuttgart and then wasted in Rome before seeing his World Cup dreams shattered as he was mercilessly dropped from the World Cup party despite figuring in just about all of the qualifiers.
This is an intelligent signing and I am sure that Avram is more than aware of just what a bargain he has snared as his first Upton Park signing.