Lukasz Fabianski is relaxed about the fight he now faces with Alphonse Areola to be David Moyes’ number one after West Ham signed the PSG goalkeeper, according to The Athletic.
Areola returns to the Premier League for a second season on loan after spending last term at Fulham. The Cottagers fanbase named the Frenchman as their Player of the Year but he elected against staying in south-west London after their relegation to the Championship.
West Ham began monitoring Areola’s Fulham future long before they moved to sign the PSG shot-stopper on loan. The Express claimed in April that the Irons were interested in a deal after his excellent displays. But Moyes had to wait until he decided on his future.
Ultimately, Fulham’s relegation meant Areola did not return to Craven Cottage, and West Ham made their move to challenge Fabianski. The Hammers’ season-long deal features a confirmed option to buy next summer, which the Daily Star believe is worth £15m.
Areola will now contend with Fabianski for minutes at the London Stadium next season as West Ham compete over four competitions. The 28-year-old kept 10 clean sheets in 37 games for Fulham last term, while the Irons’ 36-year-old kept 11 in 37 appearances.
The Athletic note Areola also left a lasting impression on Fulham’s staff at Craven Cottage. But he will now push Fabianski to be the Hammers’ number one, while bringing a different style to the role for Moyes to select with a preference to play short rather than long.
But Fabianski is relaxed about the fight he faces with Areola and will strive to be on his best form. West Ham start their Premier League season away to Newcastle on August 15.
Fabianski will need to be at his best to keep Areola out at West Ham
Fabianski will certainly need to be at his best to keep Areola out of the West Ham net next season. The Frenchman was one of the best shot-stoppers in the Premier League while at Fulham, despite their relegation.
Stats cited by The Athletic note Areola prevented the fourth-most goals in the division last term while Fabianski ranked seventh. He also dealt with a higher volume of crosses into the box, with the second-best score in the top-flight (93%).
If Moyes ever feels Fabianski is underperforming – or the Poland international sustains an injury – he could struggle to displace Areola. A goalkeeper former Fulham boss Scott Parker lauded as ‘exceptional’, via football.london, in November.