Permanent signing Areola 'felt love of supporters' during loan spell
- Credit: Andrew Fosker / Shutterstock
Alphonse Areola said the love of the West Ham United supporters was the main thing behind him signing a permanent deal at the club.
Areola joins from Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year contract until the summer of 2027, with a further one-year option, after a successful loan spell at London Stadium last season.
The 29-year-old played a starring role in West Ham's run to the Europa League semi-finals, keeping five clean sheets and conceding just eight goals, and made numerous important saves in his 11 appearances.
France international Areola also featured in the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup and is looking forward to continuing his career in east London, linking up with teammates for pre-season training ahead of a 2022-23 campaign that will include the UEFA Europa Conference League and 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 do the job," he said.
"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 do everything to make them happy, and obviously also the team, my teammates, the staff and Xavi Valero as well.
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"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 are here every day and we are sharing lots of times together, so I have to feel comfortably with everyone and feel them comfortable with me as well."
Areola helped the Hammers to memorable Carabao Cup wins over Manchester United - on his debut - and Manchester City and earned the player of the round award in the latter tie after making seven saves.
A spectacular one-handed stop to deny Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri paved the way for West Ham's 2-0 win in the second leg of their last-16 tie in the Europa League and earned Areola the club's Save of the Season award.
Manager David Moyes added: "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."