Thomas Hitzlsperger Becomes Avram Grant's First Signing at West Ham

Giants27Analyst IJune 5, 2010

ROME - FEBRUARY 07:  Thomas Hitzlsperger of Lazio in action during the Serie A match between Lazio and Catania at Stadio Olimpico on February 7, 2010 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Thomas Hitzlsperger the German international returns to England with West Ham United after leaving Aston Villa for VfB Stuttgart in 2005.

During his time in the Premier League with Aston Villa, the midfielder made 99 appearances from 2001 to 2005, scoring 8 goals. He also had a loan spell at Chesterfield during the 2001-02 season where he made 5 appearances.

Following the 2004-05 season he joined Stuttgart on a free transfer and played a key role in Stuttgart winning the Bundesliga in 2006-07 by scoring an equalizing goal against Energie Cottbus in the final match of the season. If Stuttgart had lost, Schalke 04 would've won the championship.

Hitzlsperger was named captain prior to the 2008-09 season but was stripped of that role in December 2009.

A month later, Hitzlsperger left Stuttgart opting to join Italian side, Lazio. During his time with Stuttgart he made 125 appearances scoring 20 goals.

He made 6 appearances for Lazio scoring 1 goal against Udinese on May 15.

Hitzlsperger has also scored 6 goals in 51 appearances for the Germany national team but failed to make the roster for the 2010 World Cup.

He'll join West Ham on a free transfer on July 1.