Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has joined Championship side West Ham United in a one-month emergency loan deal.

The 34-year-old stopper has found his first-team opportunities at Emirates Stadium limited in recent months, due to a combination of injury and the excellent form of Wojciech Szczesny.

Last season was Almunia’s seventh as an Arsenal player and despite making just 14 appearances during the campaign, he left no doubt as to his ability when called upon.

He presided over clean sheets in the 6-0 wins over Blackpool and Braga – skippering the side in the former – and made some vital saves in the FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town, before playing a starring role in the Nou Camp as Barcelona threatened to score more than three goals in the second leg of the Club’s Champions League tie.

The Pamplona-born ‘keeper will join the Hammers for an initial one month, where he will team up with fellow Gunner Henri Lansbury, who has made an impressive start to life at Upton Park.

Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Manuel the best of luck during his spell with Sam Allardyce’s side.

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30 Sep 2011