West Ham News

Opinion: £11m man must make a statement vs Sevilla if he is to have a future at West Ham

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Tonight’s Europa League clash between Sevilla and West Ham United could be a huge one for Alphonse Areola.

The Hammers completed the signing of the 29-year-old goalkeeper on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer transfer window.

West Ham are believed to have an £11 million purchase option on the Frenchman as well (Wyn Foot).

David Moyes has only used Areola sparingly this season, however, and the Frenchman has continued to play second fiddle to Lukasz Fabianski in the Premier League.

The 6ft 5in stopper has been given his chances to shine in the cup competitions for the Hammers this season, however.

And if he is to make a permanent move to the London Stadium in the summer, tonight’s Europa League clash against Sevilla may well be a hugely important one for him.

The towering goalkeeper has showcased his ability when playing for the Hammers so far this season.

Areola has conceded just 10 goals in 12 outings for West Ham and has kept six clean sheets in the process (Transfermarkt).

The Frenchman needs to show more though. He needs to make a match-winning save or something in order to make a big statement to David Moyes.

The PSG-owned ace could also do with being quicker off his line. He has looked hesitant at times but that’s almost understandable considering that he isn’t playing week in, week out with the same back four in front of him.

Areola has everything needed to be a truly world-class goalkeeper. He’s tall and physically composing and has exceptional distribution skills – he is streets ahead of Fabianski in that regard.

The 29-year-old will surely be given a start against Sevilla this evening. He has played in all of our Europa League games this season bar one.

The Frenchman needs to be commanding at The Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium tonight. He needs to lead from the back with authority, composure and confidence.

Tonight’s Europa League clash with Sevilla could be season-defining for West Ham United. And it could be equally important from a personal perspective for Alphonse Areola.