West Ham have signed former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, with the England international penning a three-year deal at the London Stadium.

The 26-year-old becomes Manuel Pellegrini’s fourth summer signing and arrives on a free transfer having left Arsenal upon the expiry of his contract at the end of June.

He could soon be followed through the door by Borussia Dortmund winger Andriy Yarmolenko, with the Hammers reportedly having a £17.5m bid accepted for the Ukraine international. .

Wilshere, who supported West Ham as a child, came through the ranks at Arsenal and made 197 appearances for the club in all competitions after making his debut for the Gunners at the tender age of 16 against Blackburn Rovers in September 2008.

After an injury hit loan spell with Bournemouth during the 2016/17 season, Wilshere returned to the Emirates last summer and after struggling to establish himself in the side initially, the 26-year-old became a regular in Arsenal’s midfield, making 38 appearances in all competitions.

That form saw him return to the England set-up in March for the friendlies against Holland and Italy but the midfielder had to withdraw due to injury, effectively ending his World Cup hopes, with Gareth Southgate deciding not to include him in his 23-man squad for the tournament.

Despite his form for the Gunners last season, Wilshere was told by new Arsenal manager Unai Emery that his playing time would be significantly reduced this campaign and the England international decided to leave the club on the expiry of his contract.

The Hammers have wasted little time in snapping up the midfielder, who had reportedly attracted interest from Fenerbahce, Southampton, Wolves and AC Milan, among others, with Wilshere joining Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks as well as Issa Diop in moving to the London Stadium.

Speaking to West Ham’s website, Wilshere said: “It feels good, it feels special. Many people know that I’ve had a special bond with this club growing up.

“People will have seen the picture of me in a West Ham shirt and I’ve got good memories of my childhood supporting West Ham, watching them at Upton Park. It feels good and of course my family and a few of my friends are West Ham fans so everyone’s buzzing.”

On the factors behind his move to the London Stadium, the midfielder added: “I think it was a number of things. The manager being one and the way he wants to play and where he sees me playing.

“The fans, of course – everyone knows how big West Ham’s fanbase is – and especially in this new Stadium. Not many clubs could fill it week in, week out, and West Ham do.

“I want to be playing here in front of the Hammers, and my bond I’ve had with the club over my childhood will make it even more special.”

Mario Husillos, West Ham’s director of football, said: “Manuel and I identified him as a target as soon as we joined the Club and we are delighted to have succeeded in securing Jack’s signature above a number of other teams.

“Jack is a player with vast experience and quality at the highest level, having played all of his career in the Premier League. 

“On the biggest stage, he has shown that he has game-changing abilities, as well as having the creativity and intelligence to make a real difference to our squad.

“He is a passionate man and has shown winning characteristics throughout his career. Jack will be a great addition and we look forward to seeing his undoubted quality in a West Ham United shirt over the coming years as we fight for important goals at the club.”