West Ham United have signed Alphonse Areola on loan from PSG for 2021-22 season with an option to buy next summer.
Areola’s arrival at West Ham sees the Frenchman return to the Premier League after spending 2020-21 season on loan at Fulham, where he made 37 appearances in all competitions as the Cottagers lost away at West Ham before holding the Hammers to a goalless draw at Craven Cottage.
Fulham however were ultimately relegated from England’s top-flight down to the Sky Bet Championship at end of last season.
Speaking on his decision to spend a third consecutive season on loan away from PSG after losing the no.1 goalkeeper role to Keylor Navas, Areola said: “For me it was the best opportunity to sign for this Club, to sign for West Ham and to try my best to help the team.”
The 28 year-old also spoke highly of London after spending last season at Fulham, adding: “London is a great place to live and to work as well, and obviously the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world so I really enjoyed it last season.”
Reflecting on his time at Craven Cottage and the difference this season in that fans will be allowed back into stadiums, Areola said: “It was tough for me and for the team, but I enjoyed playing in the Premier League. We were without the fans, but this year we will have the fans back so I can’t wait to see the atmosphere.”
West Ham finished sixth last season to qualify for this season’s Europa League which will mean that David Moyes’ Hammers will be featuring in four competitions this season, which Areola admits “will be a tough season and a long season” yet has vowed to “enjoy” the campaign with his new teammates.
Areola also revealed that despite playing for Fulham last season, he kept an eye on the Hammers’ progress and is confident of the team’s chances, adding: “We have really good squad. I watched games last season so I know the potential and the talent in this squad, so I can’t wait to start.”
Moyes meanwhile is happy to secure Areola’s services given his experience with 265 appearances across six previous clubs, commenting: “Alphonse is an experienced and talented goalkeeper who has played at the highest level and performed very well in the Premier League last season.”
The ex Everton manager also spoke of his belief that Areola will bolster the Hammers’ goalkeeping options alongside Lukasz Fabianski and Darren Randolph, following Nathan Trott’s loan move to Nancy.
Speaking on his goalkeeping options, Moyes said: “As we prepare for a very busy schedule, he will provide fantastic competition for the goalkeepers already at the football club and we are going to need to use our squad to ensure compete to the best of our abilities across all competitions.”