By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

21st Nov, 2022 | 5:10pm

Pundit backs Alphonse Areola to return from World Cup duty and take Lukasz Fabianski spot at West Ham United

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium

Alphonse Areola is likely to return to West Ham and push Lukasz Fabianski for the number one spot after his time in Qatar at the World Cup, says Frank McAvennie.

Areola signed a five-year contract at the London Stadium after a successful loan spell at the club last season, but still finds himself behind the veteran Polish goalkeeper in the pecking order under David Moyes.

But after getting the call up to be part of France’s squad at the World Cup, McAvennie expects the former PSG and Real Madrid stopper to return and push even harder to get in the side, branding him as “good enough to be number one“.

“I think most people know he’s a good keeper so the two of them in training will be fighting each other,” he told West Ham Zone.

“They encourage each other. Goalkeepers are weird people. They encourage each other and you’re going, ‘why you encouraging him, that’s your place in the team’ but they do.

“They help each other and they push each other and it’s great for the squad to see that. But he’s a good keeper.

“He won’t be hesitant but if he gets in then he’ll want to stay in. He’s good enough to be number one, that’s basically what I’m saying. So it can only end well for him and West Ham, two number ones fighting for the position.”

Areola has been the cup goalkeeper since his arrival at the club and helped them to reach the Europa League semi-finals, and has played every minute of the club’s Europa Conference League campaign so far this season.