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Hammers offer Evra a route back into football

West Ham United have handed Patrice Evra a return to football. Photo: AP
West Ham United have handed Patrice Evra a return to football. Photo: AP

Matt Law

West Ham United have handed Patrice Evra a return to football following the defender's European ban for kicking a fan, despite co-owner David Sullivan claiming the club would no longer be signing veterans.

Evra was banned from all European competitions in November after aiming a kick at a Marseille fan before a Europa League game.

The former Manchester United left-back's contract was also terminated and Evra has not played since facing Lille on October 29. Evra admitted he felt "lucky" to get another chance at West Ham, as he is still allowed to play in the Premier League.

"It's amazing to be back and I am thankful to West Ham for giving me the opportunity to do my job. When I wake up and know I am going to work hard, to have fun with my team-mates and give my best on the pitch, I want to say a massive thanks to West Ham, to the chairman, to the manager and to all my team-mates who have given me a nice welcome, my agent and my brother.

"I'm just happy to be here, it's really simple. You don't realise how lucky you are and just to wake up this morning and know I am going to train with my new team-mates made me smile."

The signing of 36-year-old Evra on a contract until the end of the season is at odds with an interview Sullivan gave, insisting West Ham would no longer be signing players coming towards the end of their careers.

In December, Sullivan said: "We have to bring in new blood who will die for the club. They won't be old journeymen, they will be young, energetic players. They might be 26 or 27, they might be 23, but not 32."

Irish Independent

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