Filed: Friday, 31st August 2012
By: Staff Writer
Yossi Benayoun has completed a return to West Ham United - five years after he walked out of the club having reneged on a contract agreement.
The 32-year-old midfielder has joined the Irons on a season-long loan after parent club Chelsea agreed to finance part of his £92,000-a-week wages having reduced their wage bill by offloading Michael Essien to Real Madrid earlier in the day.
However Benayoun's return will raise eyebrows amongst some of the Hammers faithful, who still haven't forgotten the way in which he left the club back in 2007.
Having moved to West Ham from Racing Santander in 2005 Benayoun agreed to sign a new deal with West Ham two years later. "I'm very pleased to have agreed this new deal," he said at the time. "From the first moment I arrived at West Ham, the club felt like home to me."
Yet within the space of two weeks Benayoun - who has also played for Liverpool and Arsenal since leaving Upton Park - snubbed the Hammers by insisting that he wanted to move to Anfield instead.
"It is an unpleasant situation after we agreed terms but we will fight it," said the player's agent Ronen Katzav in June 2007. A week later, the Hammers withdrew their offer of a four-year contract and Benayoun went on to complete a £5million move to Liverpool.
His first appearance at the Boleyn Ground - in a 1-0 defeat for his new club in January 2008 - resulted in Benayoun receiving a chorus of boos every time he touched the ball.
Yet despite that reception he insisted that the club would always stay close to his heart. "West Ham will always be a special place for me," he said. "Even if it my reception wasn't good it won't change the way I feel about the club."
During his previous spell at the club the Israeli, who once referred to his team mates as "drunks" following a defeat, was also accused of 'going missing' ahead of international fixtures - and staging miraculous recoveries from injury when important fixtures for his country loomed.
Yet he was also considered to be one of the most creative players to play for the club since the turn of the century - something that Sam Allardyce - who was snubbed by Benayoun when manager of Bolton - will no doubt be hoping he can replicate this season.
Benayoun becomes the eleventh and final summer signing for West Ham. His arrival is expected to be confirmed by the club shortly.
Free transfer list announced [7th Jun 2013]
KUMB.com Reader's Awards XVI - 2012/13 season [20th May 2013]
And that's a wrap [1st Feb 2013]
Allardyce on... Manchester United [6th Jan 2013]
Joe Cole on West Ham return [4th Jan 2013]
Allardyce on... Norwich City [2nd Jan 2013]
Benayoun leaves West Ham [27th Dec 2012]
Benayoun back at Chelsea [14th Dec 2012]
Allardyce on... Liverpool [9th Dec 2012]
02:41PM 17th Sep 2012
''Yossi is going to be a bigger signing than Carroll, mark my words. We've never been able to come even close to replacing him. Welcome home Yossi!''
by Robin Essex
06:14PM 3rd Sep 2012
''my son and wife met Yossi in Romford just before he left and he was signing a new contract and not leaving. Don't forget the power of the agent in turning players' heads!
by liam crosbie
11:31PM 1st Sep 2012
''A good player, delighted to have him back. He scores some crucial goals. Give him a chance, he done nothing wrong apart from chasing extra money and a chance to play Champions League; no more than Tevez, Van Persie and the rest of the glory chasers done.''
by Garrie Richards
08:59PM 1st Sep 2012
''It's not like he went to play for Stoke, Bolton or Birmingham. Dead chuffed he's back.''
11:32PM 31st Aug 2012
''Was a great player when at West Ham the last time. If he can reproduce that kind of form this time around then all will be forgiven!''
11:03PM 31st Aug 2012
''Not sure how I feel about this. He's a good player but not sure if he's 100% dedicated to the Hammers after the way he left in 2007.
Also im a bit worried, Big Sam says that he won't let Noble go till he has a replacement, I can't speak for everyone but I'll keep Noble over Yossi any day!
Still saying all that if he performs then I'll be a happy Hammer, just as long as Noble stays of course.''
by Trekking Iron
10:20PM 31st Aug 2012
''Fantastic. Can't wait to see him in the c&b again. As for his loyalty, it's fans that are loyal not players. In the few instances when there is a truly loyal player (like Nobes) some fans still turn against him. Now really excited about this season. COYI.''
10:06PM 31st Aug 2012
''Why try to stir up bad feeling before he kicks a ball for us - he may not be the nicest guy in the world but we need some creativity and getting on his back before he starts aint helping anyone.''
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