West Ham United have bagged their second signing of the summer, in the form of Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
West Ham United have announced the arrival of Alphonse Areola via Twitter. After spending last season at Fulham, the Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper returns to England once again, joining the club on a season-long deal.
The Hammers also have a buyout clause embedded in the contract, allowing them to seal his services permanently after the end of next season. He is likely to step in as the main competitor for Lukasz Fabianski, whose contract in London expires next summer, making this an ideal move for all parties involved.
Formerly of Real Madrid, Areola made a total of 36 appearances in the Premier League last season, conceding 48 goals and keeping nine clean sheets. It was not enough to save Fulham from the wrath of relegation, but his tally of 114 saves was only better by four other ‘keepers, including Arsenal target Sam Johnstone.
The 28-year-old also attained a 71% save percentage which is considerably higher than the league average. He will now return to England in an attempt to further enhance his reputation. At West Ham, Areola is likely to serve as a direct replacement for veteran Fabianski. At the age of 28, the PSG goalkeeper has time on his side and will also get the opportunity to appear in the UEFA Europa League.
In fact, the Hammers are using their Europa League status to attract some of the most in-demand players out there in the market, with Matheus Pereira emerging as one of the potential targets for David Moyes this summer.
On the flip side, though, the club is still in contention of losing out on star player Declan Rice. The Englishman is reportedly in talks with Chelsea over a potential return to Stamford Bridge this summer, a move that could significantly weaken the midfield ranks at West Ham. They have recently been linked with a swoop for Alex Kral, but the Spartak star might not be enough to solve the problem.
Nevertheless, Moyes, for the moment, will focus on swiftly completing the deal to sign Areola, whose experience and pedigree at the highest level makes him an ideal replacement for Fabianski.