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On this day: Arsenal's Ian Wright completes West Ham United move

Seventeen years ago today, Arsenal legend Ian Wright sealed a move to fellow Londoners West Ham United.

While the 1997-98 season was a memorable one for Arsenal, on a personal level at least, it was a frustrating campaign for the club's all-time leading goalscorer Ian Wright.

Once a crucial cog in the starting lineup at Highbury, the striker struggled with injuries and subsequently found his place in attack alongside Dennis Bergkamp handed to a teenage Nicolas Anelka, who scored in the FA Cup final against Newcastle United as the Gunners sealed the double.

Ian Wright of West Ham United celebrates his goal against Derby County in the FA Carling Premiership match at Upton Park in London© Getty Images

Also, the summer of 1998 saw a number of centre-forwards linked with a move to North London, including AC Milan's Patrick Kluivert and Belgium international Emile Mpenza.

Seemingly fearing that his starting opportunities would be even further limited ahead of the upcoming term, Wright, who topped Arsenal's goalscoring charts with a tally of 178, decided to move on following a seven-year stint in a red shirt.

His switch to fellow Londoners West Ham United was finalised 17 years ago today for a reported £500,000, with the England international signing a two-year contract at Upton Park.

"[West Ham have] got a fantastic team and I'm just happy to be a part of that. I'm just here to score goals," Wright told reporters upon his arrival.

Meanwhile, Hammers manager Harry Redknapp added: "Ian has an awful lot to offer as a player and as a person. He is a great character whether on the pitch or in the dressing room. I would say he is the most enthusiastic footballer I have ever come across."

Wright made an instant impression on the West Ham faithful when he scored the winning goal on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday.

That was one of nine goals that the frontman would score in the 1998-99 season, but he was later loaned out to Nottingham Forest, before having spells with Celtic and Burnley, having struggled to recapture the clinical form that he had shown throughout his time as an Arsenal player.

It was in the year 2000, aged 36, that Wright announced his retirement from football having helped Burnley to gain promotion to Division One.

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Nicolas Anelka (R) celebrates scoring the fourth goal with English defender Ashley Cole (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wigan Athletic on May 9, 2010
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1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs26126842271542
9Aston Villa251231038271139
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2738162056-3617
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714

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