When Gianluigi Buffon signed with Paris Saint-Germain, it seemed like Alphonse Areola would need a new home in order to further develop as a future French national team backstop.
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Three matches into the season, Areola got his chance to overtake Buffon and the 25-year-old is yet to look back.
Thomas Tuchel’s seen enough, at least for now. From RMC Sport in France:
“Yes, I chose,” Tuchel said. “The decision is not final but I told Alphonse that he was in my opinion in pole position to be No. 1. He comes from the academy. PSG means everything to him, and he absolutely wants to prove himself to PSG. This is a situation that must be respected and on which we have to capitalize. We must have players of this nature, we need this type of player who have the soul of PSG, who embody the club.”
Areola’s taken the long road to this post, having been loaned to Lens, Bastia, and Villarreal. Twice-capped for France, he won the World Cup as Hugo Lloris‘ deputy this summer.
And Chelsea’s goalkeeping coach, Christophe Lollicon, says he’s better than Lloris (not that a Chelsea man would dig at Spurs…) From HITC:
“People live in a dream world when it comes to Lloris a bit too much, but for me Areola is above. Against Germany, he was positionally very good and in his ability to come out. It’s the basis of all goalkeepers, but not everyone does it well. He’s pro-active in his anticipation.”
Buffon’s pretty good, so the situation could change at any time but Areola would have to open the door.