Almunia arrives

West Ham United have signed vastly-experienced goalkeeper Manuel Almunia on an initial one-month emergency loan from Arsenal.

Manager Sam Allardyce moved quickly to secure the services of the Spanish stopper after learning that Robert Green faces around six weeks out with a knee cartilage injury.

The 34-year-old joined up with his new team-mates on Friday ahead of this weekend's npower Championship visit to Crystal Palace. He will wear the No13 shirt.

Big Sam welcomed the goalkeeper to the club, telling West Ham TV: "We've been hot on the phone and secured an excellent signing in the short-term in Manuel Almunia from Arsenal.

"It's a big 'Thank you' again to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal for allowing us to get such a high-class and experienced goalkeeper to come in and fill-in for Robert for the time being.

"I think he hasn't had as many games at Arsenal as he would have liked so he wants to play first-team football at the end of the day.

"We hope that huge amount of experience he has had at Arsenal and the football he has played on a regular basis will stand us in good stead here at West Ham and more and more clean sheets will come from his presence in goal. That will obviously help us to secure more victories while Robert is out."

Almunia, who becomes the second player to join the club on loan from the Gunners this season after England Under-21 midfielder Henri Lansbury, has a wealth of top-level experience to draw upon - including the 2006 UEFA Champions League final.

Following spells at CA Osasuna and Celta de Vigo, the Pamplona-born player was snapped up by Arsene Wenger in summer 2004 after impressing during a loan spell with Albacete Balompie.

Almunia initially backed-up Jens Lehmann in north London, but was called upon when the Germany international was sent-off just 18 minutes into the 2006 UEFA Champions League final against FC Barcelona.

After appearing in the 2007 League Cup final, Almunia made the No1 shirt his own at the Emirates following Lehmann's departure in 2008, signing a new long-term contract the same summer.

Despite competition for his place from Poland international Lukasz Fabianski, the Spaniard continued to produce the goods, most notably in a UEFA Champions League semi-final victory over Manchester United in April 2009.

Two weeks after saving an Alessandro Diamanti penalty in Arsenal's 2-0 home Premier League win over West Ham in March 2010, Almunia again produced a heroic performance as the Gunners were beaten by FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

To date, Almunia has made 175 appearances for Arsenal.

The respected gloveman becomes West Ham's 13th signing since the arrival of manager Allardyce in June, following Abdoulaye Faye, Kevin Nolan, Joey O'Brien, Matt Taylor, George McCartney, John Carew, Sam Baldock, Brian Montenegro, Papa Bouba Diop, David Bentley, Guy Demel and Arsenal team-mate Lansbury