Hitzlsperger excited by Villa return

New West Ham United signing Thomas Hitzlsperger cannot wait to make his debut against former club Aston Villa on the first day of the new Premier League season.

The 28-year-old Germany international is new Hammers boss Avram Grant's first signing since taking over at Upton Park.

Hitzlsperger penned a three-year deal with the east London club at the beginning of June and the fixture computer has handed him an immediate return to his former club on the opening day of the 2010-11 campaign.

The midfielder left Villa to join Stuttgart back in 2005.

"It's funny – you know sometimes these things don't surprise you, because you think it might happen!" he told the club's official website.

"I am looking forward to it, be good to go back there. I made over 100 appearances for them in the time I was there and it was great, but I am looking forward to going there as a West Ham player and helping my new club to hopefully get a good result.

"It is still a little way off yet I know but I am getting a little impatient now for it to all start.

"I am looking forward to meeting the manager and my new team-mates and for pre-season to begin and then for the season to start.

"I signed and when it is this time of the year there is then a wait for everything to start, but now the fixtures are out, it is exciting, I can't wait to get started as a West Ham player."

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