MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 23:22:05

On this day: Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg makes West Ham United move

Eight years ago today, West Ham United completed the signing of Arsenal's Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg for £3m.

The summer of 2007 was one that promised much for those of a West Ham United persuasion.

Having survived by their skin of their teeth in the Premier League during the previous campaign, chairman Eggert Magnusson sanctioned the signings of a number of players in a bid to ensure that the upcoming season would not be one of struggle.

Freddie Ljungberg (L) of West Ham United is challenged by Simon Davies (R) of Fulham during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Fulham at Upton Park on January 12, 2008© Getty Images

Around £30m was forked out to bring Scott Parker, Julien Faubert, Craig Bellamy and Kieron Dyer to the club, while Nolberto Solano and Richard Wright both arrived on free transfers, but would have commanded a decent wage.

Then, a further £3m was spent eight years ago today to sign Arsenal's longest-serving player at the time - Freddie Ljungberg.

The Swedish midfielder arrived in North London back in 1998 as a virtual unknown on these shores, but during his stint with the club, he played a key role in two Premier League title triumphs and three FA Cup victories. He also helped the Gunners to reach the final of the 2006 Champions League in Paris, where they were defeated by Barcelona.

Yet, after nine years with Arsene Wenger's men, Ljungberg decided that following the departure of teammate Thierry Henry and many of his other fellow 'Invincibles', the time was right for him to also take up a new challenge.

After he had completed his move across the English capital to Upton Park, the 30-year-old said: "Two years ago when I signed my last contract we talked a lot about the future and about bringing great players to the club. Despite building the new stadium we wanted to stay top in England and do well in Europe.

"For me that didn't really happen. I stayed because I wanted to stay loyal to Arsenal. But when Henry left this summer it felt like the end for me unfortunately. I felt like all the unbeaten players had left. I wanted to be loyal but I felt like it was the right time."

Hammers manager Alan Curbishley added: "We spoke to Freddie over the last week and we tried to sell him the club and what we are about.

"He has seen other players come in and push us forward. Freddie brings Champions League experience, being captain of Sweden and that he is versatile but the biggest thing is that there is a hunger there."

But, despite all the positivity that had surrounded his arrival, Ljungberg would make only 25 Premier League appearances for West Ham before he was released just 12 months into his four-year contract.

Reports at the time suggested that the midfielder's supposed £85,000-a-week wages had contributed to the club's financial problems, so an agreement was reached that saw Ljungberg pocket a one-off payment of £6m to move on.

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Arjen Robben of Chelsea slides the ball into the goal as Jens Lehmann and Sol Campbell of Arsenal can only look on during the Barclays Premiership match on December 18, 2005
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