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Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 14:33 UK

Ilunga commits future to West Ham

Herita Ilunga
Ilunga has played every league game since joining West Ham in September

West Ham have announced the permanent signing of defender Herita Ilunga.

The 27-year-old left-back joined from Toulouse on a season-long loan in September but has now signed a deal keeping him at the club until 2013.

Ilunga has featured in every Premier League game since arriving at Upton Park, playing a key role in the club's resurgence under Gianfranco Zola.

He told the West Ham website: "It is a great joy to have signed for a club that believed in me."

In December, Ilunga, a Democratic Republic of Congo international, reportedly described West Ham as "second-rate", adding that he saw the club as a stepping stone in his career.

But Zola immediately defended the player, and spoke of his plans to sign the full-back.


The deal was agreed in January and will take effect when the summer transfer window opens.

"My goal is to keep developing as a player here, working for the manager and his staff," added Ilunga.

"I am very happy to be here and there is a great atmosphere with my team-mates."

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see also
Zola keen to keep defender Ilunga
05 Dec 08 |  West Ham
Di Michele & Ilunga join West Ham
02 Sep 08 |  West Ham

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