West Ham United are pleased to confirm the return of Israel captain Yossi Benayoun on a one-year loan deal from Chelsea.
The skilful and creative attacking midfielder has moved back to the Hammers five years after leaving east London for Liverpool. Benayoun, who was a popular figure with fans during his time at the Boleyn Ground, will further bolster Sam Allardyce's forward line alongside fellow new recruits Andy Carroll and Matt Jarvis.
Benayoun began his career playing for Ajax at youth level before returning to Israel and making his mark with Hapoel Be'er Sheva and then Maccabi Haifa. He scored 15 goals in 25 appearances for the former before going on to net 16 goals in 29 matches in his first season for the latter in 1998-99. He finished with 55 goals in 130 appearances and two Premier League titles for Haifa before moving on to Racing de Santander in 2002.
Benayoun scored 21 goals in 101 appearances for the Spanish outfit before a host of top clubs across Europe took an interest in him. It was the newly-promoted West Ham United that finally sealed his signature in July 2005 for a reported £2.5m.
He made his debut against Blackburn Rovers a month later and scored his first goal on 12 September in the 4-0 win against Aston Villa. His first season in east London ended with an FA Cup final performance as West Ham United lost a thrilling match to Liverpool on penalties.
He then moved to Liverpool in 2007, where he scored 11 goals in 48 appearances in his first season, including a hat-trick against Havant & Waterlooville in the FA Cup. A career highlight followed two years later when he scored the winner at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu against Real Madrid as Liverpool won a UEFA Champions League quarter-final 1-0.
The 32-year-old moved back to London with Chelsea in July 2010, before joining Arsenal on loan a year later. He has become a key player for his country since making his debut in 1998 and has scored an impressive 24 goals in 88 games.
Benayoun becomes West Ham United's eleventh summer signing as the Board and Sam Allardyce build a squad capable of making an impression on the Barclays Premier League this season.
The mercurial midfielder, who will wear the No15 shirt, will not be available to face Fulham on Saturday, but should make his second debut at Norwich City on Saturday 15 September.