Hitzlsperger becomes a Hammer
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Avram Grant has made his first signing as West Ham United manager, snapping up Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger on a free transfer from Lazio. The 28-year-old, who has experience of English football after a four-year spell with Aston Villa, joins on a three-year deal and will complete his move on 1 July 1 when his contract with the Serie A outfit expires.

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan believes Hitzlsperger's signing shows the Hammers are heading in the right direction after only narrowly avoiding relegation under Grant's predecessor, Gianfranco Zola, last season.

I am especially pleased that he is excited by what we are trying to achieve here at West Ham.
David Sullivan, West Ham United co-owner

"I am delighted to welcome Thomas to the club," said Sullivan. "We had to move quickly to secure his services when he became available, especially as there was understandably so much interest in him from around Europe and back in Germany. I am especially pleased that he is excited by what we are trying to achieve here at West Ham.

"He is the first of many signings this summer. We are going to sign a mixture of exciting young talent as well as the very best senior pros who can add real strength to the squad, like Thomas. He is still a young man but has massive experience."