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The Hammers have sealed the capture of their former star from the Merseyside club on an 18-month contract, nine years after he last played for the East London outfit

West Ham have completed the signing of Joe Cole from Liverpool on a free transfer.

The 31-year-old spent nine years with the Hammers before moving to Chelsea for £6.6 million in 2003.

The 56-capped England international has now signed an 18-month contract with his childhood club, however, where he will hope to rediscover the form that led to him being named Hammer of the Year in 2003.

"It is a great move for me," the London-born midfielder was quoted as saying on West Ham's official website.

"Coming back here brings back all the memories of the pitches I learnt how to play on. This is where I learnt my trade and I'm happy to have another chance to be here.

"I've always loved West Ham and I hope I can give the club a few memorable seasons. The timing was right for me to come back and I'm happy. I'm back in London and I'm delighted to be here.

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"I want to be here and I want to make an impact. The place has not changed much to look at, but I think Sam has done a great job with the team. A few years ago, the club was in a bad way and Sam has done brilliantly."

"All in all, it will always be West Ham and the history will always be here and everywhere I go around the world, people love West Ham. Everywhere I go, people know me for having started here."

"Sam didn't have to sell me the club for me to come back. For me, I have had 18 months as Liverpool where I haven't played much football and Sam wants to play me.

"I'm going to need games to get back to my best, but I want to play football and come here and help the team to make an impact.

"I could see from the outside what a great bunch of lads we have here and there is a great spirit. I'm excited," he added.

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