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.
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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.