West Ham United is delighted to confirm Alphonse Areola has completed a permanent transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
Areola joins the Hammers on a five-year contract until the summer of 2027, with a further one-year option, following a successful loan spell at London Stadium last season.
The 29-year-old played a starring role in West Ham’s run to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, keeping five clean sheets, conceding just eight goals and making numerous important saves in his eleven appearances, and also featured in the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Now, the France international is looking forward to continuing his career in east London on a permanent basis and is savouring linking up with his teammates again for pre-season training ahead of a 2022/23 campaign that will include the UEFA Europa Conference League and FIFA World Cup finals.
“I feel good, I feel great, I’m happy to sign and happy to stay here permanently and I can’t wait to start to train and to do the job,” said Areola.
“The main thing is that I felt the love of the supporters last season. Something for me that is really important is to feel that I’m loved. I know that I have to do my job and to do everything to make them happy, and obviously also the team, my teammates, the staff and Xavi Valero as well. The vibe of last season was great, so I just wanted to do everything to stay here.
“I feel comfortable, I feel like when I'm signing in a club, I want to feel that it’s like my second family. Obviously, we're here every day and we are sharing lots of times together, so I have to feel comfortable with everyone and feel them comfortable with me as well, so I just feel comfortable here.”
The Paris-born goalkeeper became a firm favourite during his debut season in Claret and Blue, helping West Ham to memorable Carabao Cup victories over Manchester United – on debut – and Manchester City, earning the Player of the Round award after making seven saves in the latter.
The No13 made 29 saves in eleven ties, including a vital, spectacular one-handed stop to deny Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri that paved the way for West Ham’s 2-0 round of 16 second-leg victory at London Stadium and earned him the Save of the Season award.
Manager David Moyes welcomed the arrival of Areola, commenting: “Alphonse made a huge contribution to the Club during his loan spell last season. His performances backed up why we see him as a top goalkeeper.
“He brings proven quality and experience at the highest level, both on the domestic and international scene. We’re delighted he’s with us permanently and look forward to welcoming him back for pre-season.”
Born in the French capital to Filipino parents in February 1993, Areola began his football career at the age of six at the Entente Sportive des Petits Anges (Little Angels Sports Club) in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
At 13, he joined Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year training contract, spending the first three at the world-famous Clairefontaine National Football Institute and playing for the club at weekends, before returning to PSG full-time in the summer of 2009.
Areola was 20 when he made his first-team debut in a 3-1 Ligue 1 win over Brest at the Parc des Princes in May 2013. The following season, 2013/14, he starred during a season-long loan at RC Lens, winning promotion and securing the Best Goalkeeper in Ligue 2 award.
A second loan spell saw Areola, still just 21, help SC Bastia, reach the Coupe de la Ligue final, while a third at Spanish club Villarreal saw him set a club record of 620 minutes without conceding a goal, finish fourth in La Liga and reach the Europa League semi-finals.
Areola’s reward was a place in the PSG first-team squad for the 2016/17 campaign, which he ended with 27 appearances and winners’ medals in the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions.
The following season, Areola was the undisputed No1, helping PSG win a domestic quadruple. He followed that success by being part of France’s 2018 World Cup winning squad in Russia and made his full international debut in Germany in September of the same year.
After making it back-to-back Ligue 1 titles, Areola joined Real Madrid on loan in September 2019 and helped the Spanish side win La Liga and the Supercopa de España, before moving to English Premier League club Fulham on a temporary basis in September 2020.
Areola excelled at Craven Cottage, winning the Whites’ Player of the Season award, before joining West Ham on loan in July 2021 and now making his move permanent.
Everyone at West Ham United would like to wish Alphonse the very best as he continues his career with the Club.