West Ham United’s hopes of keeping a 6ft 5in colossus who is a big fan favourite were dealt major blow by what happened last night.
Alphonse Areola has been a huge hit at West Ham on loan from Paris Saint-Germain this season.
The goalkeeper has played a massive part in West Ham making it to the Europa League semi-finals.
The France international had a big hand – quite literally – in the most pivotal moment of the entire tie against Sevilla when he produced that save to keep out Youssef En-Nesyri from point blank range with West Ham scrapping to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.
Areola has been seriously impressive when called upon for West Ham in the Europa League and cups this season.
He made another brilliant save in Lyon to stop the hosts getting any ideas as West Ham sat on their lead last week.
But the 29-year-old has been forced to play understudy to number one Lukasz Fabianski for Premier League matches.
And Fabianski, who turned 37 yesterday, was recently handed a new one-year deal which will take him past his 38th birthday.
Hammers fans are desperate to see Areola signed permanently and West Ham confirmed they have first option on the ‘keeper when he joined last July.
West Ham’s hopes of keeping colossus Areola were dealt major blow by what happened last night, though.
Across London Fulham beat Preston 3-0 to seal promotion back to the Premier League.
And according to the likes of 90Min and Football League World Moyes’s hopes of re-signing the France international could be scuppered by interest from Areola’s former loan club Fulham as and when they sealed a Premier League return.
Given that Moyes has made it clear this season that Areola is number two, it could be seriously bad news for West Ham’s hopes of keeping the 29-year-old at the club for next season.
If West Ham do want to keep Areola and Fulham do make a move to bring back their former player of the year, then Areola may well choose the Cottagers where he knows he will be number one.
West Ham fans feel Moyes should already have made Areola number one.
We can only hope that behind the scenes the extension of Fabianski’s contract is all part of Moyes’s succession plan.
That could see the former Poland stopper becoming number two and playing in the cups – and hopefully Europe – next season with Areola becoming the new long-term number one.