By Beck Pascal

29th Apr, 2022 | 9:40am

Carlton Cole and Joe Cole in awe of West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola

Carlton and Joe Cole have been left in awe of  “brilliant” West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola for the role he has played in this European escapade. 

The France international has deputised as David Moyes’ cup goalkeeper this season – playing all of their Europa League games en route to the semi-final. 

[Joe] Cole suggested it is a perfect time for the PSG man to stay in east London amid his uncertain future.

Carlton Cole told BT Sport: “It is like it is seamless when he comes in it is not a problem. 

“When he comes in he does a great job.”

Referring to the save against Lyon, Joe Cole added: “Outstanding. Any goalkeeper in the world – Manuel Neuer, anyone – would be proud of that.

“He is at the right age for a goalkeeper, he is 29 and he is maturing. 

“He has got a wonderful coach who will set up defensively in front of him so he is not going to be taking on five, six, seven, eight shots per half

“He has grown into the role and I think he has been brilliant.”

Decision time.

Areola has been brilliant throughout the whole Europa League campaign for West Ham.

Many expected Moyes to back number one goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi to come back into the fold in the latter stages of the competition but the Scot made an excellent call sticking with the so-called backup keeper. 

Make no mistake, the former Fulham man has sat on the bench for most of the season but he holds more than enough quality to be the number – which very well might be if he stays at the club next season. 

Areola has a huge decision to make regarding where he plays his football next season.

The shot-stopper would have been slightly disappointed with the Eintracht Frankfurt winner – a player of his quality should have kept hold of the ball.

However, it is all still to play for next week in Germany and the 29-year-old has the opportunity to redeem himself with yet another great display in Europe.

In other West Ham news, a BBC pundit has slammed Moyes’ harsh criticism of one key West Ham man.

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