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Friday 18 July Updated Wednesday 18 February

On this day - 19 July

Israel international Yossi Benayoun sealed a switch to West Ham United on this day nine years ago.

In fact, his £2.5 million move from Spanish outfit Racing Santander had been settled three days earlier, but was only rubber-stamped on 19 July when a work permit was granted.

Signed by Alan Pardew to boost his newly-promoted Hammers, Benayoun featured in all but four of the Club's Premier League outings that term, as West Ham finished in a creditable ninth with 55 points.

The experienced Israeli also weighed in with five goals, including memorable strikes in home victories over Aston Villa, Fulham and, on the campaign's final day, against Tottenham Hotspur.

What's more, the skilful midfielder played his part in helping the Hammers reach a first FA Cup final in 26 years. Benayoun started all six Cup ties, playing a star-turn in the final against his future employers Liverpool.

It was arguably his finest outing in claret and blue, as he would subsequently find himself enveloped in the Hammers' desperate bid to stave off relegation the following season.

Though Alan Curbishley's men would ultimately pull off the greatest escape, it didn't prove enough to prolong Benayoun's stay in east London as he joined Liverpool later that summer.    

He would, however, return on loan from Chelsea on deadline day of the 2012/13 August transfer window.

Putting pen to paper on a season-long loan, Benayoun's second spell at the Boleyn Ground was curtailed by injuries, such that he was back at Stamford Bridge before the turn of the year.
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