West Ham United failed with an attempted bid to sign West Bromwich Albion star Sam Johnstone in the summer.
That’s according to a new report from The Athletic.
West Ham were heavily linked with a move for West Brom’s number one ‘keeper Johnstone throughout the summer (Sky Sports).
But instead David Moyes elected to sign Paris Saint-Germain goalie Alphonse Areola on loan with an option to buy for £11 million.
Areola – like Johnstone – was part of a side relegated from the Premier League last season.
But the Frenchman and Johnstone both shone for their sides with Areola named Fulham’s player of the season.
West Ham needed a new goalkeeper to share the load with the ageing Lukasz Fabianski, who turns 37 this season.
And despite the links to Johnstone, Moyes opted for Areola who has impressed in his two appearances so far – keeping clean sheets in a 1-0 Carabao Cup win at Old Trafford and a 2-0 Europa League win over Rapid Wien.
Well now The Athletic journalist Roshane Thomas claims West Ham did actually make a move for Johnstone but saw their bid knocked back.
And as a result Moyes was persuaded to go for Areola instead – read the full on that story here.
The club failed in their attempts to sign West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone,” The Athletic’s West Ham reporter Thomas claims.
“And (goalkeeper coach Xavi) Valero felt Areola was better suited to playing in the Premier League.”
Valero put together a presentation showing why he felt Areola was the best option for West Ham.
And Moyes was sold.
In the end Johnstone remained at West Brom where he has played 10 of the Baggies’s 11 games so far.
Thomas’s claim is interesting as it seems to suggest that Areola was not Moyes’s first choice.
But – crucially – he was the first choice of the man at West Ham who knows goalkeepers better than anyone, Valero.
For some reason many fans see Johnstone as a young up and coming goalkeeper when in actual fact he is the same age, 28, as Areola.
The Frenchman has experience of playing for the likes of PSG, Real Madrid and France. And he was part of the French squad which won the World Cup in 2018.
So even if it was tough for Moyes and Valero to split Johnstone and Areola in terms of ability, when it comes to experience, West Ham’s potential long-term successor to Lukasz Fabianski is head and shoulders above the Baggies stopper.