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Alphonse Areola and the £11m save in epic West Ham Europa League win over Sevilla
Photo By Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images

Alphonse Areola and the £11m save in epic West Ham Europa League win over Sevilla

Alphonse Areola and the £11m save in West Ham’s Europa League win over Sevilla is just one of several stories from an epic night.

It was a night for heroes as West Ham looked to overturn a 1-0 deficit against the second best team in Spain at the London Stadium.

And there were 60,000 of them on and off the pitch on an unforgettable night in east London.

Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images

Tomas Soucek dragged West Ham right back in the tie with a towering header in the first half.

And Andriy Yarmolenko netted a poetic winner in extra-time to seal an incredible victory against the most successful club in the history of this competition.

To a man West Ham’s players put in composed, intelligent, mature and brilliant performances.

Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images

The goalscorers will get the headlines as will the likes of Declan Rice, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio.

But it was perhaps goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, on loan from PSG, who had a hand – quite literally – in the most pivotal moment of the entire tie.

Areola has been seriously impressive when called upon for West Ham in the Europa League and cups this season.

He has been forced to play understudy to number one Lukasz Fabianski.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

But make no mistake his amazing, cat-like reaction save from alleged West Ham striker target Youssef En-Nesyri at 0-0 was worth a goal.

Areola somehow managed to get a strong wrist on En-Nesyri’s fiercely struck close range strike.

It was a breathtaking moment which was ultimately as – if not more – important than West Ham’s goals themselves.

Had Sevilla scored to make it 2-0 at that stage it would have been curtains. They would have sucked the life out of the game and suffocated the crowd with frustrating time-wasting tactics.

Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Alphonse Areola and the £11m save in epic West Ham Europa League win over Sevilla

But that save could also have serious ramifications going forward too.

It could be a case of Alphonse Areola and the £11m save in the epic West Ham Europa League win over Sevilla.

Because surely after those heroics David Moyes and West Ham will see fit to take up their £11m option with PSG to make the Frenchman’s move permanent.

West Ham confirmed they have an option to buy Areola when announcing his arrival last summer.

French media claim that option is £11m. And Moyes admitted back in December he wants to make the move permanent.

Since then, though, there has been much speculation about signing Sam Johnstone on a free transfer from West Brom instead.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

But he, quite frankly, is not on the same level as World Cup winner Areola.

His kicking, with both feet, is immense. At a towering 6ft 5in, the West Ham loan star has superb presence and is a truly top class goalkeeper.

Having just turned 29 he could and should be West Ham’s long-term successor for Fabianski.

West Ham must activate the option as soon as they are able and allowed to do so.

Areola is an absolute bargain at twice the price!

A save in every sense of the word and one West Ham fans will never forget.

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