By Anthony Onifade

24th Jan, 2023 | 8:37pm

L'Equipe: Alphonse Areola keen on West Ham United loan exit as offer submitted by Lorient

West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola may be interested in a loan exit to FC Lorient, to boost his chances of a being involved in the next French squad in March, according to French outlet L’Equipe.

The former Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid shot-stopper has found his starting opportunities limited this season, with David Moyes preferring Polish international Lukasz Fabianski in between the Hammers sticks this season.

Areola has only managed 11 games across all competitions so far this season, with two of them coming in the Premier League, and according to reliable French journalist Mohamed Toubache-Ter [24 January], French outfit Lorient made a firm offer for his services.

Toubache-ter goes on to reveal that the East London outfit rejected their advances, however, French news outlet L’Equipe are reporting that the 29-year-old goalkeeper will be interested in the move.

With the French squad set to be announced in March, and Lorient offering guaranteed starts for the next six months, Areola may find the move appealing, to improve his international chances following the retirements of Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda.

Next phase

The Hammers will be in need of a long-term goalkeeper within the next six months and beyond, especially with Fabianski enduring a difficult campaign and his immediate future up in the air.

The 37-year-old Pole’s contract runs out in 2023, and there have been no reported talks between the player and the club which means the Hammers may well be looking at the next phase in the goalkeeping department, and showing their trust in Areola for the foreseeable may be the way to.

The Hammers will be mad to let such a reliable and safe pair of hands go, even for these next six months. The club have endured a torrid campaign so far, with Fabianski’s poor form a factor which means there may well be opportunities for Areola to claim a regular starting berth.

In fact, his short Hammers career so far makes for impressive reading, recording 13 clean sheets in 29 starts for the club.

And along with his great international and European experience and pedigree, Moyes must look to secure Areola’s future rather than ship him out elsewhere. He’s a must-keep.