West Ham are keen on signing PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on loan, as reported by L’Equipe.
What’s the latest transfer news involving Areola?
The Irons appear to want to bring in a new goalkeeper this summer, and they have reportedly already entered talks with PSG over the possible signing of Areola.
It is understood that the French side would prefer to sell Areola outright, while West Ham want to sign the 28-year-old on an initial loan deal with the option to buy him in the future.
How did Areola fare in 2020/21?
Areola, who was part of France’s World Cup winning squad in 2018, spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Fulham. Despite the Cottagers finishing the campaign in the relegation places, Areola made a positive impression in his first year in England.
He managed to keep nine clean sheets in his 36 top-flight appearances, and, according to FBREF, he pulled off 114 saves across the course of the campaign, registering a save percentage of 73.1%. Only four goalkeepers made more saves in the Premier League.
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What did Scott Parker say about Areola?
After joining Fulham last September, Areola was thrown straight into the firing line by the side’s former manager Scott Parker.
Speaking in February to BT Sport, Parker admitted that he had been very impressed with how Areola had coped with the demands of the Premier League from the outset.
He said: “It’s a difficult position to come into joining a new league and he has played fantastic to be honest with you.
“To be fair before he came to the club we looked at it and thought what do we need. And certainly in this moment physicality, presence, bravery as a keeper in terms of all those attributes was something that me and Rob (Burch, goalkeeping coach) highlighted really.
“And looking at Alphonse and his stature and games he has played, I had no doubt that was what he was. A very aggressive keeper, a front-foot keeper who wants to come and command his box, come and collect.
“Physically very very big, agile. They were all the areas we looked at and they were the areas he ticked those boxes, and that was exactly what we need and we’ve not been shocked in any way by that.”
Would Areola go straight into West Ham’s starting XI?
Based on last season’s statistics, Areola outperformed Fabianski in numerous categories.
As per FBREF, Areola made 18 more saves than Fabianski, and had a comfortably higher save percentage (73.1 to 69.4%).
It should also be factored in that Fabianski is eight years Areola’s senior, and at 36, he seems to be in the twilight of his career. Meanwhile, Areola’s form in 2020/21 indicated that he is currently in his prime.
West Ham may only wish to sign him on loan for now but they also want the option to buy Areola, indicating that he could be a long-term option for them between the sticks if he makes a positive impact next year.
Therefore, it seems that Areola could go straight into the starting XI at West Ham so that he is given the opportunity to show his worth, and then the club will make a decision after that as to whether they should keep him at the London Stadium or not.