West Ham’s new signing Alphonse Areola will wear the number 13 jersey for the Hammers as he looks to displace current number one Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks.
Areola has signed on an initial season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain with West Ham having the option to make the move permanent in the 2022 summer transfer window.
The French World Cup winner has opted to don the number 13 shirt, the first player to do so since Roberto did during the 2019/20 campaign.
Last season, Fabianski was the undisputed number one for David Moyes but with the signing of Areola, the Pole is set to face a challenge for the starting spot.
“He [Areola] will provide fantastic competition for the goalkeepers already at the football club and we are going to need to use our squad to ensure compete to the best of our abilities across all competitions,” Moyes said.
Areola is looking forward to starting life as a Hammer and is determined to help push the team on after a ‘big season last year.’
The goalkeeper said of challenging Fabianski for the number one spot: “The first thing is to think about the team.
“Obviously, the manager will take the decisions and we will have to respect them and to work and help the team. That’s the main thing, to try to help the team and be the best.”
Areola joins West Ham following a season on loan at Fulham but before that he had a number of trophy-laden seasons in France and Spain. At PSG and Real Madrid, the goalkeeper picked up four League titles and nine domestic cups between 2017 and 2020, as well as the World Cup with France in 2018.
“I won trophies, but I am here to try and help to give my best every day in training and of course when you’re in competitions like the Premier League, the Europa League and the cups, you have to give your best every day and in every game to win titles.
“The ambitions of the club are here and I’m going to give my best to try to reach that.
“I watched games last season so I know the potential and talent in this squad, so I can’t wait to start.”
Areola has played more than 250 games in his professional career but he still regards himself as young for his position.
“I’m still young for a goalkeeper, obviously, but to be one of the best you have to work every day even if you have your background,” he said. “You have to keep pushing, keep training and keep working so that’s my aim for my time at West Ham, so let’s start this season and we will see.”