West Ham United could make a move for Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. The 28-year-old spent last season on loan at Fulham, but following the club’s unfortunate relegation, he is likely to look for another move.
Evening Standard has reported that the Hammers could bring Areola on loan ahead of the 2021-22 season with an option to buy him in the future. The Frenchman is interested in returning to London after his loan spell with Fulham. West Ham were also interested in signing West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone but were put off by his price tag. They are also reportedly interested in another goalkeeper, Dynamo Kyiv’s Heorhiy Bushchan.
Alphonse Areola, who has come through the ranks at PSG, has spent the last two seasons on loan – first at Real Madrid and last season with Fulham. He has two years remaining on his current deal with Paris Saint-Germain.
Alphonse Areola: The ideal option in goal?
It seems like Alphonse Areola may not have a future at Paris Saint-Germain following the signature of Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Areola may not even have the opportunity to play back-up ‘keeper as the French giants have Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas, as well as Spanish ‘keeper Sergio Rico.
Areola may have to go out on loan for yet another season if no club is willing to buy him outright. The Frenchman was one of the bright spots for Fulham in their disastrous 2020-21 Premier League season. He featured in 36 of 38 league games for the Cottagers. He impressed with his commanding presence in goal and was decisive off the line. He made the most punches in goal (26), while also making an average of 3.2 saves per game.
He is a decent shot-stopper and at 6’5″ is a big frame to get past. Areola has vast experience, having played in the Champions League and for two top clubs in Europe- PSG and Real Madrid. The French ‘keeper could be a good addition to the West Ham squad and compete with first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. West Ham will compete in the Europa League in the 2021-22 season which requires them to have a strong and deep squad to help them get to the latter half of the competition and also deal with the Premier League workload.
Areola could give competition to Fabianski, while also be used in rotation for the cup competitions. The Frenchman could also be a long-term replacement for Fabianski, who is presently 36 years of age and may not be able to play at the top-level for too many years.