When Alphonse Areola made his move to West Ham United permanent during the summer, there was perhaps an expectation that the Frenchman would usurp Lukasz Fabianski as the number one in David Moyes’ side.
The Polish shot-stopper is 37 now but, disappointingly for Areola, he shows no signs of slowing down and has been one of the most consistent performers in the Hammers’ side so far this season.
Fabianski’s WhoScored average rating of 6.76 in the Premier League ranks him as the seventh-best performer in West Ham’s side, which is an impressive feat given that he has kept just three clean sheets so far this season.
The former Arsenal man has also done well at preventing goals in the top flight, as the Hammers have been expected to concede 13.14 goals this season but have shipped just 12 so far, which shows that he is over-performing.
Only five other sides in the Premier League are performing better in that aspect, which again emphasises how consistent Fabianski has been, but surely Moyes is thinking about when Areola is ready to make the step up to number one.
The French ‘keeper produced another solid display in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night as the Hammers beat Silkeborg 1-0, which was his second clean sheet in the competition.
Areola would earn a 7.7/10 match rating from SofaScore on Thursday, the best of any player, as he made three saves and completed 81% of his passes, which is a significant improvement on the 63.5% averaged by Fabianski in the Premier League this season – suggesting that the current number two might be better with his feet.
Mark Noble is certainly a big fan of the former Fulham man, as he sang his praises last season after he kept a clean sheet in the Carabao Cup win against Manchester City.
He said: “Alphonse knows Lukasz is number one at the minute, but he’s great around the boys, he doesn’t sulk, he comes in and he’s been fantastic in the Europa League games that he’s played and fantastic in the Carabao Cup games and tonight he showed how good he is and what a great bit of business for us.”
With the summer signing continuing to impress now that he is here on a permanent basis, Moyes must start to consider handing him some minutes in the Premier League, as the 37-year-old Fabianski cannot be relied upon forever.