West Ham defender Jonathan Spector has signed his long-awaited new three-year extension deal with the club.

The American international has been suffering from a hip injury since the end of last season, and has not featured for the Hammers at all this term, although he was promised a contract extension when he returned to training.

The injury has kept him out of many crucial matches for his country, including the friendly against England. He also unfortunately missed out on his country's representation at the Olympics in Beijing over the summer.

The 22-year-old was forced to have surgery in June on the injured hip as it was worse than first thought, leading him to be out for the last six months. However, the young American fullback is now back in training with the first-team squad and is thought to make his comeback in the coming weeks.

Speaking to ESPN Soccernet on signing his new contract, Spector said, "I appreciate their confidence in knowing I'm going to be making a full recovery and knowing I was doing everything I could possibly do in the U.S. for my rehab to make it back.

"I've certainly enjoyed playing for West Ham and it's somewhere I want to be. I feel I have some things I want to accomplish at West Ham, and I was happy that the club gave me the opportunity to do that," he added.

Spector believes that even though the new West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has made a slow start to his career at Upton Park, he is the man who can turn their fortunes around, and Spector hopes that he can lead the club to European football.

"He's had an impact on the club since he's returned to English football, and I think it's a positive impact," he said. "I know the results as of late haven't been what we want, but just in terms of the way the team is playing, I think we're playing much better football, and I think that in the long run it's going to pay off."

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