Tuesday 10 September 2013

West Ham swoop for Croatia forward Petric

Former Fulham striker agrees one-year deal with Hammers after joining on a free transfer

Mladen Petric (left) scored five goals for Fulham last season

West Ham United have strengthened their strikeforce by signing Mladen Petric on a free transfer until the end of the season.

"I'm happy to be back in the Premier League because it's a fantastic league and I'm really looking forward to being part of this team"
Mladen Petric

The 32-year-old Croatia forward played last season for Fulham, with five goals in 23 Barclays Premier League matches and has represented his country on 45 occasions.

Petric, who scored 51 Bundesliga goals for Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg prior to moving to English football last summer, where he produced five goals in 23 Barclays Premier League appearances, told the club's website of his delight at being back in the English top flight.

"I'm very happy, excited and looking forward to training with the team and to the first game," he said. "I'm happy to be back in the Premier League because it's a fantastic league and I'm really looking forward to being part of this team and this club.

"There are a lot of good players here and I'm happy to be part of such a good team and I hope we can all celebrate my first goal for West Ham as soon as possible. I didn't speak to Sam [Allardyce] until today but I've heard a lot about him and I spoke to Guy Demel, who I know from my time at Hamburg and I'm sure I'll have a good time here.

"I remember playing at West Ham last year and it was a very tough game for us at Fulham. I think we lost 3-0! It's not easy to come here [as the away side] and take points away."

Petric was born in Dubrave, then in Yugoslavia, in January 1981 and began his career in Switzerland after moving there with his family as a youngster.

Spells at FC Baden, Grasshopper and Basel, where he top-scored in the Swiss Super League in 2006/07, preceded a move to Germany with Borussia Dortmund in summer 2007, and Hamburg the following season.

Petric has scored 13 international goals, including the winner in their 3-2 victory against England at Wembley in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier that ended Steve McClaren's tenure as national coach in November 2007.

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Key Points

  • West Ham United sign Mladen Petric on a free transfer
  • 32-year-old forward agrees one-year deal with Hammers
  • Croatia forward played in Barclays Premier League last season with Fulham