Manchester City Exodus Continues As Zabaleta Moves On To West Ham

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Former Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has completed his move to West Ham, signing a two-year deal at the London Stadium.

The right-back, 32, spent nine seasons at the Etihad Stadium, but is one of five players whom Pep Guardiola has let go this summer.

And he becomes Slaven Bilic's first summer signing as he looks to improve on an 11th placed finish in 2016-17.

Zabaleta turned down a number of offers from clubs in Italy, Spain and England to join West Ham, and is looking forward to a new challenge.

"This is an absolute pleasure to be part of West Ham United Football Club," he told West Ham TV."I hope I can give you good moments. Of course, I come to the club to enjoy myself and hopefully we can have a very successful time.

"Sometimes a new challenge is all you need as a person and as a player. I thought my time at City was done. It’s been a fantastic nine years, absolutely brilliant.

"Manchester City gave me the opportunity to come to this wonderful league, the Premier League, something I’ve been enjoying a lot as a player and of course for me it was probably the right time to move on.

"Also, as a player, I thought I wanted to keep playing in the Premier League. For me, after being in this country for so long, this is a new challenge for me in the Premier League and I’m ready for it and looking forward to it.”

Zabaleta will likely battle with Sam Byram for a starting role at right-back, with the Irons having previously struggled to find cover in the position.

Michail Antonio and Cheikh Kouyate have both been forced to fill in, but Zabaleta's arrival should allow them to be deployed in more familiar roles moving forward.