West Ham United on Monday confirmed that Alphonse Areola has completed a permanent transfer from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain to the Premier League club.
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 goalkeeper 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, FA Cup and EFL 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."
Areola initially moved to English football in the summer of 2020, when he signed for newly-promoted Fulham on loan for the Premier League season. The Frenchman was superb for the Whites, making 37 appearances on the way to winning the club's Player of the Year award, despite Fulham being relegated.
He then moved to West Ham United on a season-long loan in summer 2021 and featured 18 times, including eleven in the Hammers' run to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, keeping eight clean sheets and conceding just 15 goals overall. He also won the Save of the Season award for his stupendous stop from Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri in the Irons' Europa League round of 16 second-leg win at London Stadium in March 2022. (ANI)