London - Liverpool striker Andy Carroll ended months of speculation over his future by joining West Ham on a season-long loan on Thursday.
Carroll's future at Anfield has been in doubt since Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted the England forward might be an awkward fit for the smooth passing style he wants the Reds to use.
West Ham and Carroll's former club Newcastle both made approaches for the 23-year-old several weeks ago and, after Liverpool failed to secure a better offer, it is the Hammers who have won the race for his signature.
The deal is likely to bring an end to Carroll's disappointing spell with Liverpool as West Ham have agreed an option to sign him on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee at the end of this season.
It is a major coup for newly-promoted West Ham and boss Sam Allardyce, who briefly worked with Carroll at Newcastle, and the forward could make his debut in Saturday's Premier League clash against Fulham at Upton Park.
"It's great to be here at West Ham and all signed up. I just can't wait to get started now," Carroll told the east London club's website.
"I want to be playing games and obviously hoping to score some goals. I know the manager well and some of the lads, so it is nice for me to come to a place where I know people.
"I'm hoping to add a lot of goals and create a few chances. I know Sam from Newcastle and he was a massive reason for me coming. When I worked with him at Newcastle it was great so it was a no-brainer really."
Liverpool's then manager Kenny Dalglish paid a club record £35m to sign Carroll from Newcastle in January 2011 as a replacement for Fernando Torres after the Spaniard joined Chelsea.
After scoring only 11 goals in 58 appearances, Carroll has been deemed surplus to requirements just 18 months later and Allardyce hopes to revitalise the striker's career at Upton Park.
"I think for all parties this is a great signing. Andy is an all-round footballer, but because he is tall and one of his strengths is his aerial power, everybody dismisses the ability he possesses on the floor," Allardyce said.
"Hopefully he can score goals for us and we will be in a very good position at the end of the year in the Premier League."